San Juan Volcano Essay

Words: 700
Pages: 3

In a dark room lit only by one candle, José Rafael Aragon lay awake chipping the bulk of cottonwood roots as wood shaving flew onto the floor like snow. Living as a famous Santero was no easy job…every church wanted his bultos and retablos and altarpieces. This job was for the San Juan de los Caballeros Church and he was making a bulto of San Juan Nepomuceno. It was very time consuming to make these delicate statues and paintings but knew that when he used his creativity and skill, he was closer to and serving God. Santos had been a New Mexican tradition from the time that Governor Vargas had reconquered New Mexico. It was a way to mix the forms of arts in the Indian and Spanish community and Rafael knew he had to complete his mission. By …show more content…
The Spanish decided to organize a local meeting house (moradas) with local Pueblo and Spanish men (penitentes) to restore religion in the Pueblos. One of the jobs of the penitentes was to carve small figures of ponderosa pine and cottonwood roots glued together by Piñon tree sap. Little did they know that these figures would become prominent all through the Spanish and Pueblo communities of New Mexico. As the years went by, more and more of these now called “Santos” decorated churches, showing the story of Christ. Altarpieces were made in the same style. Santos meant a lot to the people of New Mexico at that time. As they were the only depiction of Catholicism they could find, Catholics were connected to the Santos through religion, faith, hope, and family. The Santos were looked upon as a crucial part of life and were finely dressed and taken care of. Whenever a problem arose in the family or community, New Mexicans prayed to the Santos for an answer to the problem and to help them with their lives. Because many people were not able to read, Santos showed the stories of saints through