anthropologycultureWordless Wednesday

Word(less words) Wednesday: A (Cross-Cultural) Constellation of Madonnas

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Madonna of Soweto

After the previous Madonna With Twins post my curiosity was piqued about others, and after I started composing this ‘Wordless Wednesday’ article, couldn’t help but weigh in a bit. It took minimal searching to find a number of ‘Madonna and Child’ images that were close to the original artwork but I’ve been more interested in gaining an understanding on how this Holy dyad is depicted and experienced on a larger, more global level — around the world, and how it reflects those different social and sub/cultural ideas and locations. Below are some of the images I’ve come across so far — all linked to the sites where I found them, and you can continue to conduct your own research as well. Also, I don’t know enough about the figures to know why some are breastfeeding — which is what initially caught my attention about the Virgin, while others are not and what the significance of that is within the context, but I’d definitely be interested in finding out. I may do more research if I can get around to it, but in the meantime check this post often, because I may update it when I come across others — there’s a countless amount out there, and they vary even within cultures and within religions. It’s so fascinating, and such an awesome example of seeing how these are projected through each creator or on-looker’s cultural lens.

‘Black Madonna’ 1972
 
 
  
                                                                                                                Mambo Ezili Danto (aka Erzulie Dantor)    
 
                                                                                 black madonna + child via Pinterest
  
 
  
  Madonna and Child by David Forte                       Apache Virgin and Child
 
  
Isis/Auset and Horus                                Soup’s On Madonna and Child
 
   
                                                  Indian Madonna and Child                               By Olga Polun, 2008
 
  
                                                   African Madonna and Child.                                 Massai Madonna and Child
                                                        Country not specified.
 
  

                                                        ‘Gladys and Elizabeth’                                Moghul ‘Hennaed Madonna and Child’

                          
Lunar Madonna                                             Virgin and Child, Ethopian
 
                        
                                                         Black Madonna and Child, Nigeria                           Madre Mestiza
 
                        
                                           Madonna and Baby Jesus ‘Dave’                       Black Madonna of Czestochowa
 
                                
                                                  Hawaiian Madonna and Child                           Japanese Madonna and Child
 
 
                      
                                            Philippine Madonna and Child                                  Madonna and Child of Thailand
 
                                
                                                         Mali Virgin and Child                               Haitian Madonna and Child
 
                      
                                    Black Madonna and Child, Tanzania                               Chinese Virgin and Christ Child
 
 
                      
                                      Skeleton Madonna and Child                                         Zombie Madonna and Child
 
                  
                                       Black Madonna by Charles Bibbs
 
         
                                        Haitian Madonna and Child                                  Madonna and Child Storm Trooper
 
 
 
 
 
            
                                         Embroidered Madonna and Child                W. African Sculpture Madonna and Child
 
a_crow_indian_madonna_and_child_cards-r6c0841716c524bc096c13d80f58fa0d3_xvuat_8byvr_512
 
2014-03-11 09.24.07 pm
 
 

5 thoughts on “Word(less words) Wednesday: A (Cross-Cultural) Constellation of Madonnas

    1. Thank you for the link, Elissa! They absolutely look like a match. I’m curious if it is indeed a Himba woman from Namibia.

      I actually have seen the movie Babies, but I just can’t think of it now. I’ve been meaning to get around to watching it again at some point, but now I’m more inspired. :O)

  1. Thank you for the link, Elissa! They absolutely look like a match. I’m curious if it is indeed a Himba woman from Namibia.

    I actually have seen the movie Babies, but I just can’t think of it now. I’ve been meaning to get around to watching it again at some point, but now I’m more inspired. :O)

  2. This is very interesting! Mary and Jesus were obviously from the Middle East so they had facial features like most people do in that region. It’s interesting though how missionaries have adapted the image of Mary and Jesus to minister to people in other cultures by changing their facial features.

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