Ex Voto | Wild Turkey

The boy Jose Luis Arreola gives thanks with this votive offering because the giant wild turkey didn't eat him.

San Juan, July 8, 1938.

Size: 9-1/2" high x 12" wide

Painted on metal

Ex-votos came to Mexico from Spain with the 1521 conquest. They are devotional prayer plaques applied to shrines in thanksgiving for a miracle received from a particular saint. These small votive offerings are hand-painted on tin and naive folk art. Usually the supplicant, the person giving thanks for the miracle, hired a local untrained artist who could also write to express gratitude. Often, though, you find mispelled and illegible words, which reflects the lack of sophistication and charm of the piece. The painting often includes the name of the town or province and the date of the offering. They were usually nailed to an altar or shrine. Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera had one of the largest collections of Ex-votos, many of which are on display at Casa Azul in Mexico City.