Santos in Oaxaca's Ancient Churches
A study of santos in 16th-century and other churches in Oaxaca, Mexico
By Claire and Richard Stracke
Funded by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation.
Our Lady of Sorrows
| Our Lady of Sorrows:
The hands are carved into the clasped position, indicating that this was always intended as a Madre de los Dolores. The arch of the eyebrows and the contemplative expression do not correspond to the traditional look of the Virgin at the Cross. There is a tin diadem with stars. When we saw the statue it was standing on an andas with the candles and flowers of a procession.
Local Name: La Madre de los Dolores
Basis for Identification: Blue and
white mantle enclosing face and reaching from top of
head nearly to floor, upturned gaze, praying hands,
Site: Basilica of Santiago Cuilapan.
Location: West wall of the north chapel (see note).
Media and construction: Wood,
gesso, paint. Hair: painted. Mouth: closed.
Size: About 5 feet (150 cm.)
Comparable santos in Oaxaca: Achiutla,
Santa Ana del
Valle, Coixtlahuaca, Cuilapan2, Ejutla, Mitla, Nochixtlán,
(in Calvary group), Tlacolula,
Xoxocotlán, Yanhuitlán (?), Zimatlán.
Next: Another statue of the
Sorrowing Mother, also in the north chapel.
references to the cardinal directions always assume
that the main altar is at the east end of the church,
the narthex or entry area at the west end, and the two
of the nave on the
north and south. (The
nave is the long central section.)
Actual orientations may differ.
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