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
The figure has no emblems or symbols suggesting St. Joseph, but Sr. Luís Mendoza identified it as such and specified that it is called San Joao. The figure is seated, with the hands in an unusual position. They are held palms up at the clavicle, the fingertips almost touching. The polychrome design has worn almost completely away; the wood is carved in dense, waving folds. The neck of the robe has three buttons. No carved hair is visible under the modern wig.
Local Name: San Joao.
Basis for Identification: Identified
as St. Joseph by Sr. Luis Mendoza, who also noted that
it is called San Joao. The figure has none of Joseph's
Other characteristics: White cape.
Site: Church of Santa María
de la Natividad (Preciosa Sangre de Cristo),
Teotitlán del Valle.
Location: Midway along the south wall of the nave, just before the south portal (see note).
Media and construction: Polychrome, fabric cape. Eyes: glass. Hair: wig.
Size: Less than 3 feet (90 cm.)
Moving to the right, we find a statue of St. Peter
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.
The photo shown here is licensed under the
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
license. You are free to share or remix it on two
conditions: first, that you attribute it to the
photographers, Claire and Richard Stracke, without
implying any approval of your work on their part;
second, that if you alter, transform, or build upon
this photo, you may distribute the resulting work only
under the same or similar license to this one.