Sunday, November 2, 2008

Notable Features Commonly Found in Nativity Sets, Part I

In this post I will deal with about ten features commonly found in nativity scenes. These are conventions which Western ideas or attitudes about the birth of Christ as given in the Biblical accounts.

The first of these is Mary kneeling, worshipping Jesus. While some show Mary holding the newborn, most will have her in an adoring pose.

A second convention has Baby in a manger box of some kind. He is usually scantily clad or naked, unlike the Biblical acount where He is snugly wrapped in swaddling cloths.

Most often Joseph is portrayed holding a staff or a lantern.

A fourth and very common feature is the Wise Men figures. Most scenes show three Wise Men bringing gifts and worshipping the Babe.

Another important feature relating to the Wise Men is their Elaborate dress and resplendent accoutrements, including one or more camels. The Wise Men are often the most costly component of the nativity set. While the three piece Holy Family might be have most attractive price, the three wise men will cost considerably more due to the work which has been put on their elaborate costumes

In Part II we will consider a few more features common to most nativity sets.

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