Nativity Figurines - Heralds of Peace Throughout the
By Bettye Wade
We may not even be consciously aware of them, The Nativity
Figurines, sets that are part of nearly all Christmas
decorations. Outdoors in particular, our attention may be fixed on the lights or the Santas or the animal figures. Indoors there is the
tree and the presents and the food or other
festivities. Yet the nativities are there and we are almost subliminally reminded of what they mean to us-the reason for all the rest. The
Event. The Babe is there, sleeping blissfully as the
mother, in robe and hood, watches over Him. The
father, too, bearded and sandal-clad. Perhaps the shepherds who came next to the scene, and the three wise men with the camels that brought them from
The Nativity figures are all a little different, of course,
as we are all different, yet
they are true to the traditions of our culture.
These figures all look somewhat like we look. That comforts us. It feels right. It is fitting. It is fitting , too,
that all around the world the Nativity figures
are all vastly different from ours as they draw from their own culture and traditions. In Russia, for example, the nativity figures may be hand
painted in vividly colored old world costumes
from the last century and shown against a snowy background. In Poland, one set was cut out of very brightly colored
sheets of heavy foil.
In undeveloped countries Nativity sets must be made from
whatever materials are available to them. In Kenya
they are sometimes fashioned from the dried fibers of the banana plant. In Haiti one creche is made from a carved coconut with a peaked
roof. Around it are tiny little figures with very dark
faces who have two round white dots for eyes. In the
Philippines little sand bags sewn from brightly colored cloth have painted heads.
The styles are as diverse as their countries, and as much a
blessing to the people in each country. Like ours,
their Nativity sets remind the people of the Event that is depicted. We look and remember the love that the Babe's birth represents. So
do the people in many other countries. Their response
is like ours. Our hope is renewed, our hearts are
warmed, and our spirits are lifted. Theirs are too. Somehow we are united in the love engendered by this Event. For the moments, hours, days-or more, we
are one in our spirits. That feels right. It is
fitting. And we are grateful.
Bettye Wade is a collector as well and is excited to be
associated with Susan's Collectable Figurines. Working with such beautiful art objects is satisfying on many levels.
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