World Nativity Traditions





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Exhibition Label

This cluster of Chinese triptychs made by a Chinese Christian from the Zhejiang Province center on the promise of Isaiah 9:2 that people sitting in the dark have seen a great light, a symbol of the future Messiah. The three Chinese characters above the triptych with a barred window mean love, hope, and faith. The central panel is always reserved for the Holy Family, sometimes in the company of a water buffalo which in Chinese culture is a symbol of protection. Notice also that on one of the central panels there is a third adult person. He represents God Father, the real father of Jesus, standing behind Mary and Joseph. The side panels give space and attention to other figures of classical nativity scenes: to star, lamb and sheep, to the shepherds, to camels and magi.


Handcarved camphorwood triptych made by an unknown Chinese Christian from the Zhejiang Province. Exhibition label written by Fr. Johann G. Roten, S.M. originally for exhibit held at Roesch Library, University of Dayton. This triptych was exhibited as part of a cluster of similar Chinese triptychs.


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nativity scenes, At the Manger, triptychs, Jesus Christ, wood sculpture, wood carvings

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