World Nativity Traditions





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Exhibition Label

There all kinds of hats: hard hats, high hats, tin hats and wool hats; there are even hat racks and hat tricks! The hats in this set are sombreros. Their first and immediate purpose is to give shade and coolness, but the deeper meaning reaches into the soul of the Latin American People, the men in particular but not exclusively. Sombreros speak of dignity and decency, pride and--as some would say--manliness. There is another meaning still. People with hats are on their way; they are pilgrims or simply busy moving around. Even Joseph in this set wears a hat and carries a back-basket. Indeed, the holy family is only passing through. They stopped for a moment at one of the street corners at the marketplace. Soon they will disappear among the multicolored robes, scarves, shawls,veils, and of course, hats of many shades. There is little physical and vestimentary difference between Mary, Joseph and the baby, and everybody else. God does not makes waves when he comes. A marketplace or street corner will do; the proximity to the tavern does not repel him. What counts is attentiveness, the ability to find him among the many hats.


Sculpted, painted figures created by an unknown artist in Mexico, depicting the nativity of Jesus. The date of creation is unknown. Exhibition label originally written by Fr. Johann G. Roten, S.M. for exhibit entitled "At The Manger" and held at Roesch Library, University of Dayton.


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crèches, nativity scenes, nativities, At the Manger, figurines, Jesus Christ, Mexico

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