World Nativity Traditions



H. Störinger


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wood, paint

Exhibition Label

H. Störinger's shelter-seeking group ties in with the extended Christmas tradition. This includes not only the nativity but also the events immediately preceding and following it, that is, the holy couple's search for accommodation in Bethlehem and the Flight into Egypt. The former bears the name of "Shelter-Seeking." The scene usually shows Mary sitting on a donkey; Joseph is leading the animal. The couple is threatened by the innkeeper and his dog. In this scene all figures are on foot. The wood carving is rough, and in imitation of a style developed by amateur woodcarvers, mostly farmers. "Shelter-Seeking" is not limited to figures. It is frequently reenacted in Hispanic culture. Families visit each other to share in the joy of the impending event of the nativity. Where the holy couple was once rejected or found only locked doors, people now open their doors and extend hospitality in the name of Jesus Christ, the rejected one.


Hand-carved and hand painted wood figures depict Mary, Joseph, an innkeeper, a donkey, and a dog. Set was carved by H. Störinger in Austria. 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.


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

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