La Mano Poderosa

Copied Caban group, La Mano Poderosa, ca. 1875-1925, carved and painted wood with string and metal, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Teodoro Vidal Collection, 1996.91.34
Free to use

Artwork Details

Title
La Mano Poderosa
Artist
Attributed to Caban group
Date
ca. 1875-1925
Dimensions
10 1451 12 in. (26.112.83.7 cm.)
Credit Line
Teodoro Vidal Collection
Mediums Description
carved and painted wood with string and metal
Classifications
Keywords
  • Religion — saint
  • Recreation — church — prayer
  • Religion — New Testament — Christ
  • Figure group
  • Figure — fragment — hand
Object Number
1996.91.34

Artwork Description

The All-Powerful Hand symbolizes the wounded hand of the crucified Christ. On its fingertips are representations of the Holy Family. The infant Jesus' position on the thumb represents his importance, since much of a hand's function depends on the thumb. The Virgin sits atop the index finger followed by St. Joseph, as well as St. Anne and St. Joachim, Mary's parents. The inclusion of the extended family reflects the Latin American and Spanish regard for the family above the individual. In this santo, the red marks on the palm represent Christ's wounds. The two metal offerings in the shape of a leg and a human chest attached to the thumb were placed there by a worshiper whose ailments were healed.