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
Local Name: El Señor de la
Basis for Identification: Crown,
copious blood. No INRI plaque.
Other characteristics: Crown is of
metal with costume jewels.
Comparable santos in Oaxaca
(crucifixes with or without Mary and John): Achiutla,
Santa Ana del
Ana del Valle2, Santa Ana del
Lady of the Rosary, Teotitlán1, Teotitlán2, Teposcolula2,
(in Rosary case), Teposcolula
Xoxocotlán1, Xoxocotlán2, Xoxocotlán3, Xoxocotlán4, Yanhuitlán1, Yanhuitlán2, Yanhuitlán
Convento5, Yanhuitlán Ayuxi Chapel, Zimatlán.
Our Lady of Sorrows (on the left):
Local Name: La Madre de los Dolores.
Basis for Identification: Blue
mantle, sunburst halo, praying hands.
Comparable santos in Oaxaca:
St. John the Evangelist (on the right):
San Juan Evangelista.
Identification: Male figure to right of crucifix,
characteristics: Hands tied into position.
Site: Church of San Pedro y San
Location: In the center of the retablo just east of the north transept (see note).Next: On the lower left of this same retablo, a statue of an unidentified monk
Introduction to Teposcolula
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. Some churches are shaped like a cross; the "arms" of the cross constitute the transept.
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