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.
| Calvary Scene
Site: Church of San Juan Guelavia.
Location: In a glass case in the north section of the transept (see note).
Local Name: El Señor de la
Basis for Identification: Cross,
crown of thorns, sunburst halo with stars, INRI plaque,
loincloth with scutum, bloody wounds in
side, hands, feet, knees.
Other characteristics: Tinsel rope
Comparable santos in Oaxaca: Achiutla, Santa Ana del Valle1, Santa Ana del Valle2, Santa Ana del Valle3, Cuilapan, Etla, Mitla, Nochixtlán, Tamazulapan1, Tamazulapan2, Teitipac1, Teitipac2, Teitipac3, Teitipac Our Lady of the Rosary, Teotitlán1, Teotitlán2, Teposcolula1, Teposcolula2, Teposcolula3 (in Rosary case), Teposcolula Convento1, Teposcolula Convento2, Tilantongo1, Tilantongo2, Tlacolula1, Tlacolula2, Xoxocotlán1, Xoxocotlán2, Xoxocotlán3, Xoxocotlán4, Yanhuitlán1, Yanhuitlán2, Yanhuitlán Convento1, Yanhuitlán Convento2, Yanhuitlán Convento3, Yanhuitlán Convento4, Yanhuitlán Convento5, Yanhuitlán Ayuxi Chapel, Zimatlán.
Our Lady of Sorrows
Local Name: La Madre de los Dolores
Basis for Identification: Upturned
gaze, clasped hands, blue mantle, sunburst halo,
standing to left of cross.
Comparable santos in Oaxaca: Achiutla,
Santa Ana del
Ejutla, Mitla, Nochixtlán,
(in Calvary group), Tlacolula,
Xoxocotlán, Yanhuitlán (?).
Saint John the
Local Name: San Juan Evangelista
Basis for Identification: Youthful
face, upturned gaze, sunburst halo, standing to right of
Next: We go
to the south wall of the nave to study a statue of the Virgin Mary
Note: On this site, 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 walls of the nave on the north and south. (The nave is the long central section.) Actual orientations may differ. The "transept" is the part of the building that crosses the nave so that the whole building has the shape of a cross.
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