Since I have spent a great deal of time traveling in Latin America I have a much loved collection of artifacts from the various realms, indigenous to Spanish influenced. One of my collections is wood carved hands. Many hands of all sizes and finishes were long separated from their torso/figure over the centuries. This carved hand I bought in the 1980's, it was once part of a larger wood polychromed figure of a saint/santo in a church. The hands and feet were often carved separately and added to the completed figure. Hands and fingers were usually the first parts of a saint/santo to be damaged or lost over time.

The nimbus or resplandor is real, it was placed on the head of a figure (saint) to show divinity and represent light or brilliance.

The hand is displayed in a nicho, a decorated box used to display religious figures or images. It was a common form in households

19th c. wood Guatemalan santo hand, early 20th c. Guatemalan painted tin resplandor / nimbus, dried roses, paper, basswood sheet and strips, acrylic paint and acrylic media on archival wood support.

Private Collection

Reliquary for Santo Hand
Rituals and Reliquaries: Santo Hand
mixed on archival support
24" x 25 1/2" x 2 7/8"