This nativity set has been carved by Malagasy artisans belonging to the tribe of the Zafimaniry, and living in Ambositra on the island of Madagascar. The wood used comes from a non-hardwood tree called Vandriaka. Zafimaniry people are known for the decorative carvings of doors and windows of their homes. Begun as a conservation measure by Catholic missionaries in the 1960s, the Zafimaniry were instructed in the craft of figure carving as a means of saving the lushly forested areas of their habitat, while assisting the people to find sources of income. These smooth, shining, and beautifully carved figures are a tribute not only to the artistic abilities of the Zafimaniry, but also to their will of economic and cultural survival. So much in life is a matter of survival! The message of Christmas is no exception.
12 figures (18 pieces) made of hand-carved rosewood by Malagasy artisans of the Zafimaniry tribe in Madagascar. Figures depict Joseph, Mary, Baby Jesus in crib, angels, kings, shepherd, 2 sheep, 1 zebra, and 1 donkey. Exhibition label written by Father Johann G. Roten, S.M., originally for exhibition entitled "African Symphony" 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