Mexican Nativity Scenes

Do you know someone who collects Nativities? Or someone who collects Nativities from all over the world?  If you have someone on your list who loves Nativities, we’ve got you covered. Here are just a few of the many we have in our shop in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  If you’d like to purchase one of these nacimientos, click on the photo to purchase through the Zinnia Folk Arts Online Shop.

Mexican Nativity Scenes or “Nacimientos” come in all sizes and in all media. The also come in various numerical configurations–five to twenty-five!

 

Tiny Mexican Nativity

This is a very sweet and very tiny nacimiento made in Puebla, Mexico. There are 20 super tiny pieces (tallest is slightly over 1″) including the lovely Christmas cactus and lots of animals. The whole amazingly detailed set (and its “gold” tray) can be yours for $28.

Mexican Nativity, Red

This small nacimiento or nativity has 14 pieces and the tallest piece is about 2″ tall. It is made of clay and the little animals are all lying down. Jesus has his little hands waving in the air. Every piece is decorated in red. $42. Handmade in Mexico.

Mexican Nativity, Oaxaca

This is a charming nativity set carved and painted by the Santiago family in La Union, Oaxaca. The tallest piece  (the angel) measures about 5.25″ tall. The carving is elegantly simple and the painting, bright and colorful. There are 10 pieces. Very unique and a lovely piece of Mexican folk art.

Mexican Nativity, Oaxaca

This is a stunning, large, wooden carved and painted 11 piece nativity set by Roberta Angeles, sister of Jacobo Angeles. They live in San Martin Tilcajete, Oaxaca. The pieces range in size from about 6″ to 9″. Each piece is painted in great detail. And the carving is exquisite. A beautiful set.

Do you have any questions? Or are you looking for another type of nacimiento? Send us an email with your questions!

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Sacred Hearts In Mexican Folk Art

Alpaca Sacred Heart, Mexican Folk Art

The Sacred Heart is one of the most common motifs in religious folk art created in Mexico. The idea is that the physical heart of Jesus is a symbol of his divine love for humanity. The Mexican folk art sacred heart comes in various forms–with flames around it, with a crown, with a dagger through the center and sometimes with a crown of thorns–and all represent the same thing, Jesus’ compassion for humanity. In some Christian paintings it is depicted as a flaming heart shining with divine light, pierced by the lance-wound, encircled by the crown of thorns, topped  by a cross and bleeding.  The bleeding and wounds and crown of thorns allude to the manner of Jesus’ death while the fire stands for the transformative power of God’s love.

And of course, you know that almost everyone in Mexico is Catholic so these images are commonly seen throughout the country…

Mexican folk art, Sacred Heart

Here are a few interpretations of the sacred heart by some of Mexico’s folk artists. The two hearts above, hang on the wall. One is shiny nickel silver  (5″ tall) and other is a patina-ed nickel silver or alpaca (7″ tall). They are $38 for the shiny one and $28 for the darker one.

The two sets of earrings below are made of silver and come from Taxco, Mexico. The lovely crowned earrings are $38 and the pendant, $30. The stunning, oxidized earrings with lovebirds and a flaming heart are $78.  Click on the photo of the earring to take you to the online store.

Contact us through the form below if you are interested in purchasing the sacred hearts above or anything else!

To see what else we have for sale in the online shop, click here.

Silver jewelry, Sterling silver earrings from Mexico

Silver jewelry, Sterling silver earrings from Mexico, Sacred Heart


What is the Significance of Hands in Mexican Folk Art?

One of the most frequent questions I’m asked in the shop is, “What is the significance of the hand in Mexico?”

Hand motifs do appear in many pieces of jewelry and religious iconography from Mexico and though there is no absolute answer to the question,  here are a few ideas.

One of the most obvious answers is that the hand is so important to all of us in terms of making things (hand-made), performing, communicating, praying (especially when 90% of the country is Catholic) and in making us human. This is just as true in Mexico as it is in other places.  The heart in the hand (another common image in Mexico) is a traditional folk art motif, associated with the Shakers, the Amish, and the Pennsylvania Dutch.  It is widely considered to symbolize charity, or to mean something is “from the heart”. Others consider it to represent friendship, love and truth.

The hand motif in Mexican jewelry probably increased after Pablo Picasso’s gift of the silver hand-shaped earrings to Frida Kahlo in the 1930’s or 40’s. She painted herself in them and many nicho boxes and retablos created around Frida’s image contain those famous paintings. Some Mexican artisans make beautiful hand-shaped earrings.

Here are a few pieces we currently have in the shop that can give you an idea…

Nickel Silver Frida Kahlo Necklace & Earrings, Zinnia Folk Arts

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Contact us for this lovely wooden hand covered on one side with milagros. It is $58 and measures 7″ by 4.35″ wide.

Guadalupe EArrings, Zinnia Folk Arts

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This beautiful and amazing carved hand is covered on both sides with milagros. It costs $166 and measures 10.5″ tall by 4.5″ wide.

Nickel Silver Frida Kahlo Necklace & Earrings, Zinnia Folk Arts


The Virgin of Guadalupe and Mexican Folk Art

In Mexico, December 12 is the Fiesta of  la Virgen de Guadalupe. Pilgrims from all over Mexico walk, ride buses, drive, ride bikes and even walk on their knees to arrive at the Basilica of Guadalupe that was built on the hill where Juan Diego saw the Virgin three times in the 1500’s. The tilma that was seen by Juan Diego is preserved in the Basilica and many, many people make pilgrimages to see it and to pray for help of all kinds. But it’s not just in Mexico City that people remember and celebrate her today–it’s everywhere in the country.

Guadalupe is a world-famous icon of the Virgin Mary. She is fondly known as the “Queen of Mexico.” Her image can be found everywhere in Mexico. She’s recognizable by the golden rays that surround her image and by the little cherub at her feet.

Here’s a photo of the original Basilica de Guadalupe in Mexico City.

Mexico City Basilica de Guadalupe

Yes, it’s sinking! That’s partly why a new Basilica was built to the left of this photo. I like the old one better.

Basilica de Virgen de Guadalupe

Light a candle and leave it outside one of several chapels on the Tepeyac Hill.

Lux Mexican Religious Candle

We carry 5″ tall Lux Candles. Take off the tissue paper and the lid, light it and wait for the image to be illuminated by the flame (it will take a while).

Folk artists use her image in every imaginable way and express their love and admiration for her through their media.

Ocumicho Guadalupe Wall Plaque

This is  the Virgen de Guadalupe according to the Purepecha people of Michoacan. The whimsical Guadalupe wall plaque was made in Ocumicho.

Virgen de Guadalupe Wall Hanging Plate

Wooden bateas (carved trays) painted with the Virgin’s image come from Michoacan. These are decorative and are meant to be hung on the wall or set in a holder for display.

Reverse Glass Paintiing of the Virgen de Guadalupe

This is a reverse glass painting of la Virgen. The technique is an old-fashioned one but is being revived by a Mexico City artist, Manuel Bauman.

Wooden Retablo with Guadalupe & Saints, Mexico

This is a large and lovely retablo with many saints on wood and painted in Michoacan. Available in the shop or by email!

Tin Cross with Virgin of Guadalupe

This gorgeous tin cross decorated on the inside with Guadalupe and the symbolic roses comes from Oaxaca. Available in the shop or by email!

Guadalupe Earrings, Nickel Silver

Nickel Silver earrings with the image of the Virgin available here.

Decorative Boxes with Virgin of Guadalupe

And of course decorative boxes! These are especially lovely and very unique. They are from Mexico City. Available in the shop or by email.


Nativity Scenes from Mexico

As I’ve mentioned before, Mexico is predominantly a Catholic country (over 90%). So, much of the handmade folk art from every region is related to either the Virgin of Guadalupe, believing in miracles, wishing and hoping for protection from the bad, thanking God for the good, remembering the dead or expressing one’s faith. As we get closer to Christmas, the Christmas markets will start popping up allowing one to buy all kinds of decorations and food related to Christmas.

People buy complete nativity scenes in Mexico but there is also a tradition that happens in other parts of the world–buying the nativity scene one piece at a time. If you go to the Christmas markets you’ll see Baby Jesus in all kinds of sizes and colors as well as the lambs, cows, mangers and other nativity figures. You can purchase one or all or simply add on to your nativity scene every year. Jesus is also purchased separately because he doesn’t appear in the scene until December 24th…the Three Kings are added to the nativity on January 6th.

Mexican folk art Nativity

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Josefina Aguilar Nativity, Oaxaca, Mexico

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Peruvian Nativity in Flower

Oaxacan Carved Wood Nativity Set, Oaxaca Mexico

Metepec Nativity Tree of LIfe, Mexican folk art

As always, if you have questions or would like to purchase any of these Mexican nacimientos, just let me know!


A Shiny and Glittery Mexican Folk Art Christmas

Mexican folk art Guadelupes

Mexican Folk Art Tin Wall Ornament, Christmas

Mexican folk art tin lumenaria

Tin Mexican Folk Art Nativity in a Box

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Mexican Folk Art Advent Wreath, Mexican Christmas

Here are a few examples of Mexican folk art in the shop for the Navidad season. There are lots of unique pieces–teeny little glittered Virgin of Guadelupe ($12) the beautiful large, Oaxacan, painted wall ornaments ($45),  unpainted tin lumenaria in two sizes ($15 and $20),  lovely tin pop-up nativity scenes inside a narrow box ($36), tiny little nacimiento boxes from Puebla ($18) and an amazing clay advent wreath from Izucar de Matamoros ($145).

None of these things are on the website but any of them can be purchased. Just let me know if you would like something. We ship all over the world!


Unpacking the New Mexican Folk Art Shipment from Mexico!

Remember a few short weeks ago, I was in Taxco, and other cities hunting for new Mexican folk art, Mexican silver jewelry and beautiful handmade Mexican crafts? The shipment has arrived! And now I’m slowly unpacking, pricing and doing the paper work of keeping track of over 700 items that I purchased for Dia de Los Muertos and the holiday season. I’m starting to put a few things out in the shop and eventually hope to get many of them on the website.

There are LOTS of beautiful Mexican talavera ceramics but I haven’t reached those yet (next week, I hope!). Here you can see a few things that are in the Mexican religious category (the upside down saint with the inscription, ” Beautiful Tonito, send me a man who wants to be my husband”), a couple of ceramics (the Capula pitcher and the talavera canisters) and a couple of pieces of gorgeous .925 Mexican silver jewelry. Also, a bunch of new small Mexican glass pitchers and wineglasses!

People ask me all the time if I have a favorite destination in Mexico. I can honestly say that I truly love all of the great country of Mexico but I especially love the regions that make handmade Mexican crafts–Guerrero, Jalisco, Michoacan, Guanajuato, Puebla, Oaxaca, Chiapas and the Federal District. One can find Mexican folk art almost anywhere, including the coasts and resort towns, but I prefer to hunt it down in the small towns, workshops, markets and coops in the central regions. I also prefer buying directly from the artisan whenever I can and personally selecting the most unusual and beautiful pieces of Mexican folk art.

None of these things are on the website–they are either too fragile for shipping or I just haven’t gotten around to it yet but if you are interested in something in these photos, just fill out the form at the bottom of the page and I’ll get back to you! Or if you click on the photos you’ll be taken to the Zinnia Folk Arts Online Shop so you can see what IS on the website!

Saludos!

Anne from Zinnia Folk Arts

Religious Mexican Folk Art

Mexican folk art

Mexican crafts, Mexican folk art

Handmade Mexican Crafts

Talavera Mexican Crafts

Silver Jewelry from Mexico

Mexican silver jewelry, Earrings from Mexico

Mexican silver jewelry, Taxco jewelry