Brazil

The following Nativities are each displayed in a unique permanent setting created by Marian Library Crèche Collection volunteers. The descriptive text for each was written by Father Johann Roten, S.M.


nativity set

Paradise Lost?
Sidney Matias

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.

– ML.3488

nativity set

The Rooster's Call
Artisans from Alto do Moura, Caruaru, Brazil – Marliese Rodrigues and Myriam Neide
– Painted clay

The many colorful little people, shepherds, kings, and angels, were made in the tradition of Vitalino Pereira dos Santos (1900-1964) for some "the foremost figure maker in Brazil's history." Figure making is the typical trade of Alto do Moura, a village of Caruaru in the Region of Pernambuco. It evolved from the traditional making of household earthenware, so that Alto do Moura is now considered the foremost center of figurative arts in Latin America. This nativity representation composed of sets made by Myriam Neide and Marliese Rodrigues features at its top the rooster, a frequent companion of Baby Jesus in Latin American crèches. The rooster's call echoes across the centuries of Christian history. It is both wake-up call and warning: a warning against spiritual Alzheimer and a wake-up call to courageous commitment.

– ML.1933