Nativity scenes in Mexican popular art

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Over the Christmas festive season, nativity scenes or “nacimientos” are placed in Mexican houses, representing the main figures in the story of the birth of Jesus. There is currently an exhibition in the Banamex Cultural Centre in Calle Madero (Centro HIstórico, Mexico City) displaying some of the “nacimientos” created by craftsmen all over Mexico using a wide variety of materials and styles in their works of art. 

Here are a few photos of that exhibition which will continue until 5th February (open every day from 10am-7pm):


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The exhibition is in the former Palacio de Iturbide down Calle Madero, a beautiful Colonial-style building with an inner patio

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Nativity scene in front of the Iglesia de Ocotlán in modeled clay (Oaxaca)

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“Portal de Belen” in modelled clay (Michoacán)

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Collage of Baroque Nativity Scene using metallic paper, fabric etc (Mexico City)

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Nativity scene in modelled clay and decorated (Chihuahua)

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Figures covered in beads, Huichol-style (Jalisco) 

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Scene made from palm leaves  (Puebla)

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Figures dressed in indigenous clothes (Chiapas)

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Visitors looking at some of the exhibits

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Figures made of tin (Oaxaca)

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Yarn picture (Jalisco)

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Ink on amate paper (Guerrero)

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Woven on loom (Oaxaca)

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Modern-style nativity scene on a bicycle made in wood (Oaxaca)

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Like a chess board (Yucatan)

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Carved from a block of wood (Veracruz)

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Intricate trees of life (Estado de México and other places)

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Embroidered cloth (Estado de México)

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Picture made of feathers (Michoacán)

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Figures made of black clay (Oaxaca)

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Christmas tree of tin angels


More than 330 craftsmen and craftswomen are represented in this exhibition with over 500 different nativity scenes. On the upper floor are “nacimientos” from a further 19 Latin American countries. Entrance is free and you can take photos without flash. 

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