In store, we have a large selection of statues of deities from many religions/faith paths. Weekly, I’ll be introducing you to each deity we stock and provide a little information on their significance.
Who is Santa Muerte?
Most religions/cultures around the world have a figure that represents the presence of death in our
world- a death personified. Among many western cultures there is the belief in the Grim Reaper, a personification of death who is believed to have first come to life in Europe during the 14th century. The typical depiction of the Grim Reaper is one common to us all; a tall, hooded skeletal figure clad in a long black robe and wielding a large scythe. The appearance of the Grim Reaper could signify three important attributes; the hooded cloak may hold religious undertones, as it is not too dissimilar to a habit worn by a monk at the time. The scythe appears to be a very literal portrayal of the Grim Reaper’s role as a harvester of souls. The figure’s skeletal appearance, however, is possibly the most significantly important aspect of the Reaper- it shows that he is not human, but perhaps a spectral guardian of the dead. However, where the Grim Reaper is seen only as a guardian to the dead, Santa Muerte is the Mexican Folk Catholicism and Folk Neopaganism Saint of Death.
First mentioned in the 18th century following a report by Spanish Inquisitors on the religious practices of the indigenous Mexican people, Santa Muerte is now credited with having one of the fastest growing followings for a new religious movement. She is prayed to for a vast amount of different things, including; protection from harm and evil, love, good fortune, prosperity and protection against a violent death. Often depicted as a skeletal figure clad in ornate robes-these differ in colour though are usually shown to be blue with golden stars-, Santa Muerte is shown to be distinctly feminine despite her skeletal appearance. Adorning her head is traditionally a garland of roses, a crucifix is worn around her neck and a large scythe in her hand. With traditional depictions of Santa Muerte, a globe features prominently somewhere, either in her hand or at her feet.
Cultural Following and Controversy;
As mentioned above, Santa Muerte was first mentioned in the late 18th century. Though her popularity and following did not begin to appear until the mid 20th century due to the hostility towards her. Unlike the Mexican celebration of the Day of the Dead, where people gather together to publicly worship deities and celebrate the lost lives of loved ones, worship of Santa Muerte was a very private affair, with people often saying prayers or worshiping the Saint from their own homes and altars. It was not until a similar figure appeared in Mexican Day of the Dead culture, La Catrina, that Santa Muerte began to be publicly worshiped. La Catrina was shown to be a skeletal figure dressed in the popular styles of the time, traditionally wearing ornate headpieces or hats with colourful makeup. It was thanks to the public love and worship of La Catrina that Santa Muerte began to be publicly worshiped. In the 1940s, Santa Muerte was documented as being publicly worshiped throughout Mexico and her following has only continued to grow. In 2001, a public shrine was established for Santa Muerte in Mexico city and many more smaller public shrines followed, though in 2009 40 of these shrines along the U.S.- Mexican border were destroyed by police. Today, it is estimated that Santa Muerte has between 10-20 million followers in the Americas alone, with her popularity quickly spreading worldwide.
Our beautiful statue depicts Santa Muerte sitting in a large throne, holding a rose tipped scythe and scales in her hands with the globe resting beneath her foot. On her shoulder sits an owl, the depiction of wisdom. At the base of the throne sits traditional offerings left to Santa Muerte, coins and roses, along with skulls to signify her role as the Saint of Holy Death.
Santa Muerte Statue- £80