If you are able to visit La Casa Cordova, part of the Tucson Museum of Art, you shouldn’t miss El Nacimiento de Jesus. This traditional Mexican nativity scene is an artistic expression originating in Colonial Mexico. For centuries, celebrations of Mexican families created joyful and colorful Nacimiento displays in their home as a central part of the Christmas celebration. This large and longest-running Nacimiento exhibition is an elaborate and very special version of this cultural inheritance. In an intricate arrangement of hundreds of miniature figures, it combines the symbolism of the Spanish Colonial Catholic Church with the simplicity and faith of everyday existence in rural Mexico. Some of the scenes are from the Christmas story of the Bible; others show traditional Mexican village life with an accuracy that extends even to the tiny replicas of kitchen utensils in the country dwellings. The glow of a myriad of tiny lights binds the multifaceted collection of scenes into a magical fantasy world. A labor of love of Maria Luisa Tena, she devoted months of care each year to prepare and preserve the nacimiento in honor of her mother.



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