The crèche, or called here the nacimiento, are nativity displays and may be handed down through generations of family, or started anew at times of marriages or changes in family stability.
They are figures traditionally housed in rustic wooden structures, the figures are fashioned of ceramic, glass or wood.
Artisans in the Guadalajara townships of Tlaquepaque and Tonala and Puebla’s towns of Tepeaca and Amozoc make their livings fashioning these figurines, and set up stalls all over their towns to market their wares in November and December. As much as 50% of Amozoc’s population of 77,000 are artisans, 40% of whom create Christmas-related figures.
Unfortunately, cheap Chinese knock-offs are flooding the market, even in Mexico, and are threatening the livelihood of these Mexican artists. In the last six years these craftsmen have lost up to 50% of the market share of nativity figurines.
A standard nacimiento will feature Mary Joseph, baby Jesus, Angel Gabriel, the three Wise Guys, a few shepherds and assorted barnyard animals. Many include a devil made to hide in the foliage). Mexican additions to the traditional nativity scene may include cactus, iguanas and other traditional Mexican fauna, musicians, and even a woman cooking tortillas on a hot rock.
Hey, let’s buy Mexican, screw the Chinese, they aren’t even Christians! How can we possibly buy Christian stuff from heathens? To save a few pesos? Let’s keep our funds home and support our local artisans.