This is a one of a kind, miniature, sophisticated, unique 10 piece nacimiento or nativity scene from the small town of San Martin Tilcajete, Oaxaca. This is one of the carving towns on the outskirts of Oaxaca City. The wood carving is done with a machete and this carver, comes from a very talented family. The simplicity of the carvings combined with the elegance of the painting is truly beautiful. The wood is copal, native to the Oaxaca area. The aniline paint colors are bright and pleasingly coordinated.
This looks almost identical to a nativity I had a few years ago from Justo Xuana. This one is signed by Martha Hernandez Vasquez and she's the person I bought it from in San Martin Tilcajete. It's a big family and it's possible that they are related to the Xuanas--perhaps it was carved by Justo and then painted by Martha. They have 4 large rooms in their home/studio devoted to the carvings of all of the family.
state of origin: Oaxaca
dimensions: approx 1" to 3.5" tall, 10 separate pieces