World Nativity Traditions



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Creation Date

20th century


papier mâché

Exhibition Label

Look in the mirror and you will see the baby Jesus in his gold-streaked shirt lying on a golden cushion. As long as we see only ourselves in the mirror we fail to understand the Christian meaning of Christmas. Jesus is our better self, a road to travel, a truth to behold and make true. In this set theater is in the air. Viceroyal art of Cuzco, Peru lends itself to project a world seen from the stage. Frozen in time it recollects the golden age of Spanish culture; a way of being spectacle to the world and drama in disguise. The actors may look like Spanish grandees. That is their disguise. Their real role will lead them to the drama that will indeed become drama for the world to come.


Eight pieces and one manger, made from dyed and painted papier mâché. Figures of Mary (with earrings) and Joseph have removable feather plumes. Each king rides a miniature animal (elephant, camel, horse). Ox and ass are also miniature. Human figures have elongated necks. Set is in good condition, with one crack on Joseph's neck. Exhibition label originally written by Fr. Johann G. Roten, S.M. for exhibit entitled "Elisabeth's Nativity House: The van Mullekom Collection" held at Roesch Library, University of Dayton.


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

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