Saturday, December 24, 2011

Nativity and Christmas Images from Around the World

Here are two sources for some beautiful nativity and Christmas images that showcase the artistry of nonwestern cultures:

The first was sent to me by my friend Paul Neeley.  It features fourteen creches collected by Rev. Jerry Dvorak, a pastor at St. Peter's Church in Richfield, Minnesota.

The other is a wonderful website called World Nativity, which I highly recommend that you check out.  The website is run by the Hydes, a Mormon family who "started buying Nativity scenes from artisans in poor or developing countries as a means of helping the artisans generate income in a way that preserved their dignity... the response has been so high that we have sold thousands of Nativities from more than 100 artisans since 2005. Profits are given 100 percent to charitable causes and micro-credit projects in Third World countries that benefit the poorest people on the planet."  This sounds like a WONDERFUL way to help many in need around the world, in a way that helps them become more successful business people!

The website features nativities from the Hydes' personal collection (not for sale), as well as others which are available for purchase.  Some of these for sale items include Christmas ornaments as well.  You can see images of others from their collection on their Facebook page.

Monday, December 19, 2011

As I continue to research on a post related to Ethiopian art, here's a lovely Christmas image from that country.  I'll try to post some more nonwestern Christmas images before the big day arrives.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

‘Jesus Mafa’ Paintings

Earlier this month my friend (and ethnomusicologist) Paul Neeley posted on his blog about the 'Jesus Mafa' paintings.  These paintings were produced in a collaboration between Mafa Christians in northern Cameroon and French missionaries.  The paintings that resulted from this partnership were western in style, but depicted the Mafa and their environment accurately so that the Mafa could identify with the biblical stories being portrayed.  Please check out Paul's post and see a wonderful example of one type of visual contextualization.  The last paragraph is especially worth reading!  And check out the Jesus Mafa website too.