So, where do you keep the brown baby Jesus?
December 4, 2007 5:15 PM   Subscribe

Trying to find a nativity scene that doesn't have a white Anglo-Saxon looking holy family. Not having much luck.

My family has had a nativity set since I was a child that is rather nice and has a lot of sentimental value to my sisters and I. Over the years, it's been knocked about and roughed up so there is not much left of it. It has realistic looking figures like these (not abstract art or faceless figures) and it was unusual for the time because the holy family looked like they were from the Middle East, versus an Eastern European or Scandinavian city. As a child, this made perfect sense to me, Bethlehem being in the Middle East and all.

I've been searching for a set for my sister that is similar or at least in the spirit of that set. But I can't seem to find a brown baby Jesus! There are lots of pale, blond figures out there. Nothing against pale, blonds. I'm one.

I can't believe that finding something like this is so difficult. Anyone know of a source?
posted by jeanmari to Shopping (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Something like this from Oaxaca?
posted by scody at 5:19 PM on December 4, 2007

My mom gets hers* in Mexico, and about half feature brown figures.

*yeah, she's got a collection. I'm getting her a cagoƱer this Christmas!
posted by lekvar at 5:27 PM on December 4, 2007

There was a point to my previous post, honestly. The point being if you google "buy Mexican nativity sets," the first link is this one, which features non-WASP-y figures. I''m sure the rest have similar sets available.
posted by lekvar at 5:32 PM on December 4, 2007

posted by Frank Grimes at 5:39 PM on December 4, 2007

If you happen to have a Ten Thousand Villages store near you, they are running a nice variety of nativity sets from all over the world, in various artistic styles. At least the store in Bethesda was that way.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 5:39 PM on December 4, 2007

Ten Thousand Villages is what I came here to recommend too. My sister and I have bought my mother a non-WASPy nativity set or two from there over the years.
posted by epugachev at 5:44 PM on December 4, 2007

Handy with a paintbrush? A little dab of burnt sienna would at least give the waspy set an awesome tan.
posted by artdrectr at 6:33 PM on December 4, 2007

I also clicked through to recommend Ten Thousand Villages.
posted by winston at 6:34 PM on December 4, 2007

heh, if you consider brown hair and a slight tan "ethnic," this nativity set from sam's club might work.
posted by thinkingwoman at 8:18 PM on December 4, 2007

My (not Mexican) grandparents had a set from Mexico, so thirding or fourthing that suggestion. The halos were represented by sticks coming out of their heads with gold balls on the ends. We lovingly nicknamed them "the aliens".
posted by cmgonzalez at 8:35 PM on December 4, 2007

Fourth or whatever 10KVillages or similar store.
posted by middleclasstool at 9:00 PM on December 4, 2007

I do have a Ten Thousand Villages nearby...I'll check it out.

My sisters and I have a bit of an obsession with this old set...a lot of nice memories. The figures were very classically made, much like the Fontanini figures and less like folk art. So, I may try some kind of sienna wash or shellac. Though the features will probably still look pretty WASP-y.
posted by jeanmari at 11:49 PM on December 4, 2007

Alternatively - Squidtivity.
posted by essexjan at 1:30 AM on December 5, 2007

Rubber Ducky nativity
posted by methylsalicylate at 4:23 AM on December 5, 2007

Doh. I'm new to this here internets. Here's the link.
posted by methylsalicylate at 4:23 AM on December 5, 2007

Awesome link because I've ALSO been wondering about where to get this...Yay!

And, VIOLA! (sic)
posted by jeanmari at 6:26 AM on December 5, 2007

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