O Holy Night ~ A Remarkable Nativity

I have two Nativity sets.

It seems like I always display this particular one

as it is my favorite.

It is not the one that is a bit more elegant,

but the one that is very special, as it is handmade with a history.

Chinautla Primitives Nativity - Housepitality Designs

If you have been a follower of mine for some time,

you may have noticed an image of this Nativity Set

that is always displayed in the Media Room.

Chinautla Primitives Nativity Set - Housepitality Designs

When I took the pieces of this Nativity set out of the box,

it came to me that I loved this set so much that I needed

to place it somewhere that I can see it all through the day.

It pretty much spoke to me.

Chinautla Primitives Nativity Set - Housepitality Designs

I love the expressions of the animals.

This Nativity Set is handmade in Guatamala by the Pocoman Indians

of the village of Chinautla.

Chinautla Primitives Nativity Set - Housepitality Designs

Each piece is so beautifully hand made.

This industry has existed in this village of Chinautla since before Christ.

Pieces produced there have been found as far south as Costa Rica

dating to 100 B.C.

Chinautla Primitives Nativity Set - Housepitality Designs

In this tribe, only the women produce the forms they present.

The skill is passed down from mother to daughter

generation after generation.

I love the expressions on the faces of the Three Kings.

Chinautla Primitives Nativity Set - Housepitality Designs

One woman usually only makes one style, molding from hand

and firing with straw as the ancient Chinese did thousands of years ago.

The distinctive carbon marks burned into the clay is a mark of Chinautla Primitives.

Chinautla Primitives Nativity Set - Housepitality Designs

Lifestyle has changed little since Don Alverado the Conquistador, in 1540,

drove the tribe into the valley of Chinautla to subjugate them to Spanish rule.

Truly each piece is a primitive work of art, but alas it is vanishing as the village

is being washed away from the effects of the great earthquake of 1976.

Chinautla Primitives Nativity Set - Housepitality Designs

The old village of Chinautla still exists; however, many have moved to the

new village as a result of the earthquake compromising the land.

Chinautla Primitives Nativity Set - Housepitality Designs

I am happy that this tradition/craft is still being done

and passed down from generation to generation.

As I am a happy recipient of this beautiful craft

that I purchased so many years ago in a specialty shop.

Chinautla Primitives Navitivity - Housepitality Designs

Hope you enjoyed my special Nativity Set and the story behind it.

I will be completing the Christmas decor

and present a home tour to you on Monday, December 7th.

Have a great weekend!



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  1. Shirley, what a beautiful nativity and story of how they are made! I have two nativities from Africa that have lovely stories! Can’t wait for your house tour! Have a great Saturday!!
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  2. What a beautiful nativity! My MIL used to collect nativities and I always loved the variety that she had. This is a special treasure and I can see why you love it so much!
    love and blessings~
    Lynda @ Gates of Crystal
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  3. Incredibly beautiful Shirley, thank you for sharing this unique set and story of its origin. I can see why you treasure it~
    Jenna’s recent post…Home Decor, A Merry Little Seaside ChristmasMy Profile

  4. Thank you for telling the story of your nativity set, Shirley. It is lovely and very unique. A blessing to share!

  5. Beautiful story as well as unique nativity set which I adore! Treasures are always so priceless! Looking forward to your REVEAL?

  6. What a special nativity. Loved reading the history of the artists.
    Kim’s recent post…Mini Christmas TourMy Profile

  7. What a lovely story and nativity, Shirley. I love having our nativity visible too. Your set is priceless! Sending many Christmas blessings your way!
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  8. Patty Soriano says

    One year when I was young I bought mom a nativity made by a woman in our little town. It has lasted through the years and now has place of honor beneath my Christmas tree every year as a reminder of mom and dad, who are no longer with us. I also have the tiny plastic nativities which I imagine are about as old as I am, bought more than half a century ago. I now collect nativities when we travel…so much better than a t-shirt. My favorites are from Belize and Alaska. I love bringing them out to display this time of year.

  9. This set is exquisite, thanks so much for sharing it and the story of the native women who create these! What a TREASURE to have!!!! As soon as I saw the first picture I thought it might be from a south american location. How fortunate you are to have it ans now be able to pass IT down to a certain “sweetie”!!!!!!
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  10. You have a beautiful nativity with an interesting story. The expressions on the faces of the pieces are lovely. Unfortunate, that in this world of social media, these nativities are not available because I am certain you would have generated sales for them if it was at all possible. Thank you for this special post.

  11. That is a beautiful nativity set…and a wonderful story behind it! I don’t have any plans this weekend….so I intend to finish my decorating too. Fortunately…I don’t have to prepare for a tour! 😉

  12. Cassandra e says

    Thank you so much for sharing. It is a lovely set. And it is so fascinating learning history and culture. xx

  13. Oh, I love this, Shirley, and I just love the story behind it! How wonderful that the craft is done by women, who pass it down through the generations. What a treasure!
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  14. The story behind your nativity set makes it extra special. What a treasure!
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  15. just beautiful and so very unique and special, Shirley. thanks so much for sharing the story behind this art!
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  16. Loved hearing the history behind your nativity set.
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  17. Thank you for sharing this lovely set with us. It truly is a beautiful Nativity set. I loved the story.
    Have a great week.

  18. Oh, Shirley, what a beautiful nativity and story. Loved reading it!
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  19. Shirley,
    What a wonderful story of how your nativity was made. It is beautiful. I can see why you love it.
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  21. Just so special! I too have a beautiful nativity set that was my parents and I grew up with it! They are so special and of course! Why we celebrate Christmas! Take care!

  22. Lovely set and even better that it spoke to you…. Holy Spirit unleashed…
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  23. What a precious story and beautiful Navitity set. Thanks for sharing the story.

  24. That’s beautiful. Thank you for sharing that, Shirley. I love it when something has some history to it:)
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  25. What a sweet nativity set Shirley! Thank you for the history and tradition behind it. Your beautiful bokeh from your tree makes me swoon!
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