Los Tres Reyes Magos


On the Catholic calendar, the Three Kings are celebrated on the 6th of January. On this date Puerto Rican children traditionally expected their Christmas gifts, not from Santa Claus, but from the Three Kings. In Puerto Rico, the Three Kings, (in Spanish called Reyes Magos) are depicted as riding horses, not camels. According to the Bible, these kings are said to come from the east, although popular tradition identifies one of the kings as Melchor and depicts him as African in origin. The figure of Melchor is one of the first representations of a black person in Puerto Rican art. This set of Three Kings is from the town of Morovis, probably crafted around 1990 by a member of the Rivera family.

Date Made: late 19th century

Maker: Rivera Group

Description (Spanish): El calendario católico fija la celebración del Día de Reyes para el 6 de enero. Los niños puertorriqueños esperaban que este día los Reyes Magos, y no Santa Claus, les trajeran sus regalos de Navidad. En Puerto Rico, los Reyes Magos se representan montados a caballo en vez de en camellos. A pesar de que la Biblia dice que estos reyes venían del este, la tradición popular describe a uno de los reyes, Melchor, con características de origen africano. La figura de Melchor es una de las primeras representaciones de una persona de raza negra en el arte puertorriqueño. Esta artesanía de los Reyes Magos proviene del pueblo de Morovis y es probable que su creador haya sido uno de los miembros de la familia Rivera.

Place Made: Puerto Rico: Morovis, Morovis

Depicted: Three Kings


See more items in: Home and Community Life: Ethnic, Cultures & Communities, Religion, Vidal, Many Voices, One Nation

Exhibition: Many Voices, One Nation

Exhibition Location: National Museum of American History

Credit Line: Gift of Teodoro Vidal

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1997.0097.0506Catalog Number: 1997.0097.0506Accession Number: 1997.0097

Object Name: santo

Physical Description: wood; paint; metal (overall material)handmade (overall production method/technique)wood (overall material)paint (overall material)metal (overall production method/technique)Measurements: overall: 17.6 cm x 20.7 cm x 6 cm; 6 15/16 in x 8 1/8 in x 2 3/8 in

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a4-4758-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_601895

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