From Germany’s Christmas pickle to the Yule Cat in Iceland, holiday traditions are often particular to their country of origin. Two universal mainstays—nativity scenes and trees—are being celebrated at the Global Village Museum of Arts and Cultures with Nativities & Trees: Global Traditions.
“Over 300 one-of-a-kind nativities are showcased, all on loan from travelers or collectors in Northern Colorado,” said Dawn Behr, Curator and Administrative Assistant. “Versions of the crèche are found in countries on every continent. The unique visions and perspectives by different cultures are amazing and eye-opening.”
Ranging in size from miniature to large-scale, the nativity treasures are crafted or manufactured from a variety of materials including wood, stone, ceramic, and metal. More exotic sets feature fabrics, gourds, and even seeds. Rare, collectible, and antique nativities augment the eclectic display.
The Main Gallery exhibit also features holiday trees with decorations from across the globe. Local resident Cathy Weir began collecting trees more than 50 years ago. Her acquisitions include a seven-foot rattan tree from the Philippines, a Mexican tin tree, and one from Japan with parasols forming the body of the tree. “My favorite is one made by Filipinos,” said Weir. “They ‘copied’ an American tree by nailing branches together and then spraying it white. It looks funny, but I still put it up every year.”