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
| Palm Sunday Christ:
Christ wears a single polychrome robe in a flower-and-vine pattern, carved from one piece of wood. The inside of the robe is unfinished, and where it hangs below the belly of the ass one can see the marks of the chisel. The ass is much more realistic than usual, notably in the curve of the rear leg, the cord of muscle running down from the jawbone, and even a scrotum.
Local Name: El Santo Nazareño
Basis for Identification: Riding on
Site: Church of the Assumption, Tlacolula.
Location: Along the north wall of the west transept of the Chapel (see note).
Media and construction: Polychrome garment. The Christ has glass eyes, no lashes; the ass has glass eyes, a hair tail, and a leather harness.
Size: About 3 feet 9 inches (114
Introduction to Tlacolula
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.) In the case of the Chapel of the Lord of Tlacolula, which is at right angles to the south wall of the church, the altar is thus at the south end and the transept (the two wings that give the building the shape of a cross) comprises an east and west section. Actual orientations may differ.
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