Saturday, February 19, 2011


Vintage Santo

I was over at Jennifer Rizzo's site where she had a posting on Santos dolls she was working with.  She featured another place called SantosCageDolls and I went over their and fell in love with their work.

As kid growing up in an old (like 1598 old) family from New Mexico, I remember going to mass at my grandma's church and seeing all the santos at the altar.  This is probably foreign to protestants but pretty much every Catholic - particularly Hispanic - family I knew had a few in their home. 

My grandma had them all over her house, but one room in particular seemed comforting and haunting with their presence.  The living room housed several santos which were more formal and therefore seemed special.  It was a room we were not allowed to play and of course, we always wanted to sneak in and play the pump organ.  The linoleum floor had a maroon background with white feather-like swirls through it and crunched under our feet as we tiptoped through the room.  We'd go into the room and begin pumping the organ peddles, trying to make sounds on it.  For those of you who've never pumped an organ, imagine being a very small child and pushing on those pedals - we were lucky if we could get a groan or two out of it.  The whole time we whispered so Grandma wouldn't find us, but then once the organ bellowed we'd scream because we'd scare ourselves, certain that one of the Santos was going to get us.  And then Grandma would come in the room and order us out in Spanish.   

As I said, they were both comforting and haunting-:).

I think this one is gorgeous.  Of course the last thing I need is a wooden doll to clothe.  One more project for my already scattered brain to get excited about.  But if you should care to buy her for me, I wouldn't complain...


Isabel said...

My former high school Spanish teacher, Felix Lopez, has since become a famous (Smithsonian Museum famous) santero. When I last saw him at Spanish Market, I asked if he'd make me a santo, and of course, he said he would but I would have to wait a year because he was in the middle of another church project. Since then, our "fortunes" have changed, and I now have to decide between a santo and a tractor....