Monday, January 25, 2021

Oaxaca. Santa Maria Nduayaco

Place of the Burned Palm

Located on an unpaved road off Rte 125 south of Teposcolula, the rural church of Santa Maria Nduayaco appears little changed since colonial times. 
Reconstructed corner posas occupy the corners of the atrium. The church is raised on what may have been a former temple platform. Beyond its plain facade, recessed between surprisingly large towers, lies an unusual rustic interior. 
The narrow stone apse, which may have originally functioned as an open chapel, is buttressed by thick walls and faced by a painted archway with the date 1687—probably when the present church was completed.
Wooden columns and stone pillars, some with sculpted capitals, divide the nave into three aisles, all covered by low wooden ceilings with carved beam ends.
   While this arrangement has been subject to later reinforcement with cement beams, such interiors are rare in this part of Oaxaca, although it may be based on nearby San Juan Teposcolula.
At the ends of the side aisles, finely wrought but neglected gilded retablos, possibly also by the authors of the San Juan Teposcolula altarpieces, contribute to the ambience of a country church that time has left behind. (more pictures to come)

text © 2020 Richard D. Perry
color images from online sources. graphic © Robert Mullen

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