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.
In Teotitlán del
St. John the Baptist
| St. John the Baptist
The animal-skin garment is part of the carving and is unusual in covering the chest and shoulders and in the heavy multiple layering of the pelts that form the skirt. The book and lamb have been crudely tied to the left hand with a ribbon. The right hand is damaged.
Local Name: San Juan Bautista.
Basis for Identification: Animal skins, book and lamb on left hand, floor-length gold-colored cross in right.
Site: Church of Santa María
de la Natividad (Preciosa Sangre de Cristo),
Teotitlán del Valle.
Location: In a niche in the retablo of the altar near the east end of the south wall of the nave (see note).
Media and construction: Wood, gesso, paint, fabric cape. Eyes: painted. Hair: carved hair.
Size: About 3 feet (90 cm.)
St. Michael the Archangel
Local Name: San Miguel.
Basis for Identification: Sword,
military garb, wings, halo.
Other characteristics: A shield
inscribed with the words Quien como Dios (Who [is] like God).
Location: In front of the statue of
St. John the Baptist.
Midway along the south wall, a statue of St. Joseph
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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