News about the annual Nativity scene at the Vatican:
Over 30 figurines created by five different artists belonging to the Chopcca Nation, make up the traditional Nativity Scene soon to be inaugurated in St. Peter’s Square
The Chopcca Nation comprises several communities that are located in the Huancavelica region in the high Andean region of Peru; their name refers to a character that represents a “common ancestor”, and oral sources and accounts date the First Nation to times prior to the arrival of the Incas.
Pope Francis had announced the Andean origin of the 2021 Nativity Scene last Sunday after the recitation of the Angelus when he greeted a group of Peruvian pilgrims who were celebrating the feast of Señor de Los Milagros.
With its representation of a cross-section of the life of the peoples of the Andes, a Holy See Press Office communiqué on Thursday explained that the Nativity Scene also celebrates 200 years from the independence of Peru, and symbolizes the universal call to Salvation.
The life-sized figurines representing the Child Jesus, the Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, the Three Kings and the shepherds are made of ceramic, maguey wood and fiberglass, and will be wearing traditional Chopcca costumes.
Baby Jesus will have the appearance of a “Hilipuska” child, so-called because he is wrapped in a typical Huancavelica blanket tied with a “chumpi” or woven belt. The Three Kings will be carrying traditional foods such as potatoes, quinoa, and other indigenous cereals, and they will be accompanied by llamas with the Peruvian flag on their backs. The birth of the Saviour will be announced by an angel playing the Wajrapuco, the traditional Andean wind instrument. Indigenous animals such as alpacas, vicunas, and the Andean condor, Peru’s national symbol, will also be featured.