Arts of the Southwest Series

Santos: Saints in the Wood

Santos: Saints in the Wood

DVD: $19.95

This video takes you into the workshops of New Mexico’s “saint makers” — woodcarvers who create traditional santos, colorfully painted figures of saints. Santos, or “little saints,” are believed to be a link between heaven and earth, a way of focusing devotion and prayer to the saints they represent. In many homes these beautiful carvings become active presences for good by teaching grace, compassion and love to the young.

In their own words, the skilled craftsmen describe their work as an act of faith as well as art, and their pride in preserving and continuing a powerful cultural heritage first introduced by Spanish settlers.

The program explores the complex relationship between cultural and artistic traditions and spiritual beliefs and practices. Woven into the narrative are some of the most popular santos stories.

  • As seen on public television