Tuesday, December 16, 2008

a crèche course




Laurie, one of our colleagues in Honduras, has requested residents of Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America to post nativity scenes from their local areas.


I have only the photograph above to contribute. It is not meant to be arty. It is simply a bad photograph. Apparently, I had moisture on my lens that evening.


The nativity scene was in front of a public building in La Manzanilla last December. What struck me was odd was not the fact that Mary appears to be the daughter of Goliath (after all, there is a precedent in medieval art where size and status are visualized -- and this is Mexico) or that Joseph and Mary appear to be preparing the baby for the imminent arrival of Santa Claus down the chimney.


I took the photograph because of the eclectic nature of the scene. Where else could you find the Magi consorting with Arcadian shepherds, Hummel figurines, and a tiger. Almost as if a Frank Stockton story had come to life.


But a crèche has not yet been made to reflect the reality of that birth in a stable. They are all idealized or romanticized in one sense. The fact that the Wise Men most likely did not arrive until well after the shepherds does not matter. They all arrived. And if sheep and camels can crowd around the baby Jesus, why not dogs, cats, and tigers? After all, isn't that the very message of the nativity scene -- the Messiah was a promise for all creation?


Laurie does have a good point, though. I would like to see what other areas of Latin America have to offer during the Christmas season.


Can anyone match Giant Mary?

9 comments:

Laurie said...

Good nativity scene. You have better and wider readership than I do. Maybe we can get some good pics!

Life's a Beach! said...

Steve, I actually have a draft prepared comparing the differences in nativity scenes between Isla Mujeres, Cabo, and the U.S. On Isla, they include rabbits, turkeys, and some exotic animals. The Cabo creche looked more like the U.S. version. But I've never noticed any Amazonesque Mary's. :) I'll post it sometime before Christmas.

Nancy said...

That's funny, I was planning to take pictures of the nativity scene in the Plaza Republica today already! Ha!

Steve Cotton said...

Laurie -- We shall see what happens. Wayne was certainly ready to launch.

Wayne -- Like everything else, Mexico appears to approach its nativity displays with an excess of zeal.

Steve Cotton said...

Nancy -- I look forward to what Mazatlan has to display.

Calypso said...

Taking photos of Nativity scenes here in our part of Mexico would be like taking photos of cars on the street - they are everywhere - that and little shrines for the Virgin.

Jackie said...

This weekend I plan to find some of the best or maybe tackiest Christmas photos that I have from Isla and Cabo to post on my blog.

glorv1 said...

Congrats on being in the top 10 of the best 10 blogs Mexico. Wooohooo!! Way to go Steve.

Steve Cotton said...

Thanks, Gloria.