Los Reyes Magos

Media - 1996.91.31 - SAAM-1996.91.31_2 - 129291
Copied Caban group, Los Reyes Magos, ca. 1875-1900, carved and painted wood with metal and string, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Teodoro Vidal Collection, 1996.91.31
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Artwork Details

Title
Los Reyes Magos
Artist
Caban group
Date
ca. 1875-1900
Location
Not on view
Dimensions
8 1811 786 in. (20.730.315.3 cm.)
Credit Line
Teodoro Vidal Collection
Mediums Description
carved and painted wood with metal and string
Classifications
Keywords
  • Religion — New Testament — Magi
  • Equestrian
Object Number
1996.91.31

Artwork Description

The tradition of venerating the Magi, or Los Reyes Magos (the Three Kings), in Puerto Rico originated in medieval Europe, where the figures were included in Nativity scenes. Puerto Ricans celebrate Three Kings Day on January 6, when families get together and children receive gifts from Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthazar. Many santeros, who carve wooden images of saints, create sculptures of the kings, even though they are not technically viewed as saints. Puerto Rican artists usually depict the wise men riding horses, rather than camels, and the black king Melchior is almost always shown on a white horse.

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