Window to the Nativity of the world

Forest Christmas (Present)

This crib is remarkable because of its size and technical finesse. It is made of ceramic (height 80 cm, Ø 60 cm).

In this work the fir tree (pagan Christmas decoration) is connected with the crib (sacral element). The holy family sits at the foot of the tree and receives gnomes, birds and animals of the forest.

Ida AMENT, Friedrichsdorf (D)

Traditional Mexican crib

The figures are made of embossed and reworked terracotta. The bright colours are characterized by a special fineness. One finds very similar cribs in the region of Mexico city. The individual halos of the biblical figures are reminiscent of the combs worn by nobles. This type of crib, which seems very childlike, expresses the joy of life rather than devotion.

This work is said to come from the region of Oaxaca in southern Mexico and was made by an Indian tribe.

Brazilian crib (present)

The figures are made of raw terracotta and the stable is made out of a dried pumpkin. Among the animals there is a cock, which is a symbol of Christ. It can be found in many Portuguese and Brazilian cribs. It announces the day, like the Messiah. As the animal representing the sun par excellence, it symbolizes light and resurrection. Its place on the top of church spires reminds of the predominance of the spiritual in human life. In the Spanish tradition, the midnight mass is also called cock mass, it lasted until dawn.

Creation by farmers from the Sao Paulo region. Donation by His Excellency Albert HOUSSIAU, Honorary Bishop of Liège

Corn crip

The number of figures in this crib is surprising. Joseph concentrates on his work while Mary takes care of baby Jesus. People offer their homage to the newborn baby by swaying it to tender melodies, and the women come along with gifts in their hands to celebrate the arrival of the Saviour.

Creator unknown

Fayence-crip by Moustier (1993)

In contrast to porcelain, faience is fired at a lower temperature (1040° C) and glazed cold by dipping or brushing, followed by a second firing at 950° C. This crib is evocative of the ancient tradition of the faience statuettes of Apt and Moustiers, which were made in the XVIII century, during which they were in fashion. Because of the modern style of the figures, this crib has no resemblance at all to the Provençal crib. Only the background decoration refers to the village in Haute-Provence, where the work was created.

Isabelle BONDIL, Moustiers-Sainte-Marie (F)

Crib made of colored glass plates (1999)

The exhibit was made of coloured glass plates. The figures are made of glass set in lead. In 2002 this crib won the 3rd prize in the Ars Krippana Museum crib competition in the category of professional artists.

Peter STOMMEL, Bottrop (D)

Bamboo crib from Taiwan (present)

The figures are made of carved bamboo and the stable of bamboo and rice straw. This crib, which came to us from the Far East through the missions, is limited to the biblical actors. It is interesting because of its aesthetics (stylized figures, slit eyes) as well as it's primary material (bamboo). The Asian origin of the dromedary and the red colour of the strings, which is a symbol of joy in this part of the world, is also worth mentioning.

Creation of the apprentices of the Swiss Bethlehemite Workshop in Taidung (Taiwan)

Donation of the family FIDANZA, Bergheim (D)

Crib from Singapore (1994)

Figures and animals are formed by hand using sawdust from a cinnamon tree, polychrome faces. This crib is limited to the actors of the Gospels and has a distinct regional character reminiscent of certain Chinese lithographs.

Artist unknown, Republic of Singapore

on loan from Genofeva MELLES, Koblenz/Kartause (D)

Peruvian crib (present)

The figures and animals, made of terracotta or wood, are painted and formed by hand. This artist, who is very appreciated in his country, has an easily recognizable style that comes very close to caricature.

Christobald MAMANI, Peru

Finnish crib (1991)

The figures are executed in turned natural pine, partly with poker work, very stylized and noble. In the Nordic regions, wood is an ecological and traditional material. This crib testifies to the Scandinavian countries' efforts to achieve aesthetic perfection and design.

Kaija AARIKKA, Helsinki

Three African wooden cribs

Crib made of carved wood (present)


Crib from Nigeria (1979)

In these two African cribs one can recognise a very clear regional character: The baby Jesus is black and the figures are strongly typified.

Anonymous artist

On loan from Armin GILLE, Eschweiler-Nothberg (D)

Ebony relief of the Makonde ethnic group (2001)

Donation by the priest L. KUNAMBI from Tanzania through B. KALS from Aachen