Nacimientos

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Yes, I know it’s January now, but I’m stretching out the holiday season with just one more Christmas-related entry. This is because I happened to visit downtown’s  Mexic-Arte Museum just before their Nacimientos: Traditional Nativity Scenes from Mexico exhibit closed last week.

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I learned that nacimientos are the Mexican version of nativity scenes, which represent the birth of Jesus. Mexican families set up their displays on December 16, but wait until Christmas Eve to place the figure of Santo Niño (the baby Jesus) into the manger. Some displays can take up an entire room of a house.

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Nacimientos are usually hand-crafted by Mexican artisans using local materials. One of the exhibit’s more unique sets was made from corn husks. It’s common for these scenes to include people and animals from the community in addition to the traditional nativity figures.

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Some of the nacimientos on display had been donated to the museum. Others were on loan, like this ceramic set made in the blanco y negro (white and black) style.

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This beautiful set was hand-carved and then dyed in rich colors to bring out the texture of the wood.

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Nacimientos apparently come in all sizes. The museum’s displays included a large glazed pottery set as well as a several tiny collections.

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