Friday, December 30, 2011

Candlelight Tour: Nativity Display and Presbyterian Church

Back on December 3, we served as docents for the Hood County Courthouse on Granbury's annual Candlelight Tour of Homes (and other historic structures).  One of the benefits of our two-hour shift was a free ticket to see other sites on the tour, which I will continue to feature this week.

One of the houses on the tour (the Neely House) was recently acquired by the City (it has a nice view of the Lambert Branch, below), to be rented out for events.  During the tour, it was used for the "Away in a Manger" display of local resident Faye Landham's collection of over 700 nativity scenes from all over the world.  Unfortunately, the lighting in the home was not conducive to photography (particularly on a rainy day), so my pictures did not turn out very well, but here are some of the sets of most interest to me.  I'm not sure why I took the photo below right (the identifying tag did not show up in the picture), but it may have been because the set was from Lithuania, where my maternal great-grandparents are from. [ETA:  I saw one almost identical to this in Cozumel on January 10, 2012, so it's from Mexico, not Lithuania.]

The set below left was made by a nomadic tribe in Kazakhstan and shows their native shelter.  The one below right was made by the Amish.  Jesus, Mary, and Joseph have no faces because the Amish believe everyone should use their own minds to imagine what they looked like, and because the Amish traditionally don't put faces on dolls.  Ms. Landham says she had a hard time finding someone to make this set because the Amish rarely make "decorative" items.

The one below left was made from a bald cypress knee hand cut in a swamp near La Beau, Louisiana, where it is the state tree.  No two knees are alike, making this a unique piece.  The next two were also handmade in the United States.

The one above right was made in Argentina of a variety of woods, and the one below right in India of wood from Benares.  The one below left is from Nigeria.

I thought the one below left was rather unusual, but it turns out it's a "Pillars of Heaven" nativity and you can find it rather easily.

Another stop on the tour was the First Presbyterian Church near the courthouse square, below right and at bottom.  It was built in 1896.

© Amanda Pape - 2011 - click here to e-mail me.

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