World Nativity Traditions



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This Paraguayan nativity takes us back to more rudimentary forms of life. It is artfully crafted from banana leaf, the figures as well as the imposing roof of their dwelling place. The round, polished and gentle doll faces emerge like little moons from the dried and brittle vestiges of the vegetal reign. No form of life in this world lives independent of the other. Each one of them is a building block for the next, sometimes higher, form of existence. Likewise, Incarnation reaches through human expression of being to all other manifestations of nature. The Lord of Redemption is also the Lord of Creation. As for the banana tree from which this set was made, we know that it grows and matures entirely for its fruit. To be harvested, the tree needs to be cut down, but no sooner cut to the quick, rises again to new growth and new fruit. The season of life alternates with the season of death until only life eternal remains.Exhibition label originally written by Fr. Johann G. Roten, S.M. for exhibit entitled "At The Manger: No Place Like Home" held at Roesch Library, University of Dayton.


Nativity set created in Paraguay by Mercedes C. Servin. Date of creation is unknown. Set depicts infant Jesus, Mary, Joseph, three kings or Magi, an angel, and several animals. Set is made from banana leaf and unknown wood.


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crèches, nativity scenes, nativities, At the Manger, figurines, Jesus Christ, wood carvings, wood sculpture, Paraguay

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