Creches, or nativity scenes depicting the birth of Christ, became popular in the middle ages as teaching tools for a mainly illiterate populace. As these scenes became popular, they were replaced with more permanent ones made by local artists, including smaller ones for the home. The tradition continues today.

Creches of the World, an event being hosted at Comox Valley Presbyterian Church Dec. 6 and 7, is a display of some of these creches as created by artisans from around the world. (See listing for more information). Each creche, from the tiny Peruvian bus carrying the Holy Family on its roof to the hand-carved nativity created locally, tells a story. 

For instance, Ramos Rodrigo lives in the highlands of Guatemala, and carries on the tradition of carving nativity scenes started by his grandfather. At age 6, he began painting the traditional dress of his people on the figures. At age 12, he began carving them. Now he owns his own workshop, Tallando Tradiciones, and sells his work through Fair Trade distributers in North America. “I am proud that I am able to do something that is valuable for my community and culture, and I love what I do,” he told Revue magazine. (See more at  http://www.revuemag.com/2013/12/tallando-tradiciones/ 

Rodrigo’s creche will be on display at the Creches of the World event, which also includes live music, a children’s area, and a darkened room displaying lighted creches.

Jessie Schut

Comox Valley Presbyterian Church