Museum of New Mexico Press



Votive Offerings from the Americas

Martha Egan, Author

A driving force in folk religion, milagros or ex-votos, are found in cathedrals, humble chapels in rural areas and roadside shrines across Latin America. This book traces the use and artistry of these small objects, which are offered to saints and other popular deities by Latin Americans in return for favors or answered prayers. Includes sixteen color, fifty black and white photographs, and numerous line illustrations.


"Although Latin American folk art has received considerable attention in recent years, this is the first book on the popular collectible milagros, and it is a welcomed delight . With sixteen color, fifty black and white photographs and numerous line illustrations, both common and rare or unusual milagros are beautifully presented in historical and contemporary forms. . . This bilingual trade edition fills a gap in our understanding of these popular devotional items."


"This exquisite little book offers a brief history of milagros, Latin American religious offerings cum folk art. Establishing their connection to votive objects worldwide in pre-Christian times, then tracing their association with Catholic saints, Egan laments both the scant documentation of their earlier use and their recent decline as religious objects. The complete text is given in both English and Spanish, and printed on heavy colored stock. Most pleasing are the color and black-and-white photos, presenting not only the diversity of Latin American milagros but also their precursors and corollaries from around the world. Considering the growing availability of milagros in the United States, this book is recommended wherever there is patron interest in Southwestern/Latin American folk art."
-Library Journal


"There are some good messages here: illegal immigrants are often motivated by desperate desire for a better life, strong family ties are beneficial, and immigrants legal and otherwise contribute to the cultural fabric of the United States."
-The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Trim: 8" x 6.5"

Pages: 132

Illustrations: 46 color and duotone plates

Folklore/Folk Arts




Paperback $19.95