La Huesuda–Santa Muerte Statuette (Early 2000s) Los Angeles, California. Artist Unknown. (Resin, paper, mirrors, wood, paste gems, beads, twine, metal charms, rice, seeds, rose petals)(12 x 5 x 4)

This statue of one of Mexico’s most popular Folk Saints –La Santa Muerte (͞Holy Death͟) –speaks to the Saint’s veneration by those in need of financial blessings. Standing atop a mound of sculpted gold coins, clad in robes patterned to resemble U.S. currency, a statue like this one might occupy a domestic altar or home shrine. Like many similar mass produced statues of vernacular saints popular in Latin America and the Southwestern U.S., this one is ͞dressed.͟Rose petals, grains of rice, huayruro seeds, and a Cross of Caravaca charm – are all imbedded in a clear plastic plug set into the base of the statue to imbue it with spiritual force and mark it as an embodiment, rather than a mere representation, of the Saint and her power.

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