This is Caroline’s signature Nativity: A large group assembled inside (and/or outside, too, if you like) a hand-built manger that resembles a Native ramade.
Ramadas shelter from the sun, which is appropriate to the Middle East, as well as our Southwest.
The natural twigs are coated with lacquer, so they are stronger and won’t shed. The “grass” is not natural, of course, but the dried corn husks are.
The ten figures include: a little spotted calf, a sheep, the donkey, with saddle blanket still on, three Wise Men bearing gifts, a shepherd, and the Holy Family.
All are fashioned, by hand, of traditionally gathered, mixed, coiled, shaped, and painted clay, and fired in the ground.
Natural clay slips provide the colors, with the black paint coming from steeped wild spinach plants.
One of Caroline’s signatures is decorating the figures with turquoise stones.
Her figures have a recognizable, distinctive look, which is very appealing.
The flowing robes are painted with colors and designs that are well-composed, creating a unified look to the ensemble.
Native figures, all, the Wise Men bring a pot, a plate or basket, and a box, all nicely decorated.
In Pueblo lore, the donkey stands above the Baby, warming Him with his breath.
You may play with the figures as you like, of course – part of the fun!
The figures are abstracted, and have a naive, heartfelt charm.
Together with the finely made manger/ramada, this numerous Nativity is quite different, and captivating.
A stand-out Nativity, by a singular artist, for many Christmases to come.