The Passion of Christ the Dice Thrower

I picked up this amazing depiction of Christ’s crucifixion for a $1.50 at the San Lazaro Botanica at 127 Rivington St. the other day.

Now, I like to think that I have a good handle on the signs and symbols of religious iconography, and while some of the symbols are straight forward enough, most of what’s represented here is too delicious and way beyond my semiotic range. Be sure to note the dice at the bottom, which on the original can be seen to have been clearly photoshopped in. They have been rolled to read 1, 2, and 3.

This chromolith was produced by Cromos y Novedades de Mexico and is one of many symbolically rich chromos depicting saints.

In the US prints of varying quality can be purchased from Legba’s Crossroads, which, as the website states,

“provides supplies for practitioners of Haitian Vodou (Vodoun, Voodoo) and various “rootwork” traditions based in native North American, African and European roots.… All items are worked on the altars of Mambo Chita Tann (“Mambo T”) before shipment. Additionally all products, with the exception of media, saint and some jewelry items, are handcrafted for each client, blessed and assembled in the mambo’s badji (altar room).

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