World Nativity Traditions



Sidney Matias


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clay, glaze

Exhibition Label

This nativity set shows the two faces of the same reality. It presents the life of the Xingu tribe settled on the river system by the same name, and hiding away in the depth of the Brazilian Amazon region. Surrounded by mango trees where a colorful population of Tucano and Tuiuiu birds compete with black and yellow panthers, turtles, snake, and monkey, people live a life in harmony with nature. Mary is resting in a hammock, the child lying on her breast, while Joseph serves a fruit platter with melon, banana, caju, abacate, and mango. Faces and bodies are painted blue, yellow, and green, the tribal colors of married couples. In all of this resonates the suggestion of a little Eden, for those at least who are able to see the other face of reality: the barren land, the developer in suit and tie, greed in his eyes and destruction in his wake. Good and evil, in whatever suit or body paint, are at the very center of what the Incarnation stands for.


Glazed clay figures depicting the nativity of Jesus, created in 2009 in Brazil by Sidney Matias. 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, Brazil

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