Jesus and a Flamenco Singer

Reader Likundu was in San Fernando (Spain) and took a picture of a tile mosaic on the wall of an old building. On it were two well-known figures:

On the left? Flamenco singer Camarón de la Isla.

On the right? Jesus Nazareno.

Not just Jesus, mind you, but Jesus Nazareno, a wooden sculpture that people take out on procession during the holy week.

Are the two equal in the eyes of the locals?

Should they be worshipped together?

Is it idolatry?

Any explanation would be appreciated :)

  • Cindy

    I like how Jesus is brown-eyed and darker skinned, reflecting the look of most Spanish people, as opposed to the blond, blue-eyed Jesus of America. (Man made god in man’s image….)

  • Marty

    Never underestimate the fervor and sometimes bizarre nature of Spanish Catholicism. There are many examples of ex voto items that are revered, sometimes worshiped. I don’t think the Camaron de la Isla is worshiped, per se, but revered and here is shown side by side not with jebus, but with an ex voto of jebus. In this way the magical power of a holy ersatz jebus rubs off on Camaron.

    So it’s not worship, they aren’t equal, and as far as idolatry is concerned, in some xtians eyes all visual depictions are idolatry. Eye of the beholder kind of thing.

  • Rollingforest

    My great grandmother used to have a picture of the Pope and a picture of JFK hanging on the wall together (as well as holy water to sprinkle in case of bad thunderstorms). Apparently she considered both of these men to be of equal importance.

  • Anonymous

    the Pope and a picture of JFK

    This also exists in a tile mosaic in a prominent church in Cork (? I think) Ireland. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a common theme.

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverFrog

    Is this a “separated at birth” thing?

  • Andrés

    Spanish guy informing: Camaron was a famous flamenco singer with a huge fan base, and even if he died in 1992 you can often see his face in car stickers, jewelry, graffiti or even tattoos. So, in southern Spain, where flamenco and devotion to wooden sculptures are the dominant religions, isn’t that uncommon to see these go along together.

    And that’s why more and more priest are learning to play the guitar!

  • jose

    lol. This is embarrassing.

    Here you can see Camarón talking about a lady who asked him once to touch his child who was sick, thinking his touch would heal the kid. He was an idol for some people, even when alive.

  • Claudia

    Are the two equal in the eyes of the locals?

    Absolutely not, Camarón is MUCH more important! ;-)

    @Marty Spanish Catholicism is very much of the old world school and it retains some…err..interesting quirks. Church relics are the most bizarre and creepy by far. “Relics” usually are assorted body parts of saints, often held in ornate golden and bejeweled containers. Blood, bones, fingers, skulls and sometimes entire limbs are displayed. In Avila I saw a finger of St. Theresa (she was from Avila) with a ring on it and everything.

    However Catholicism has been so dominant and so intimate with the secular power structure for so long that Spaniards usually trust their church as much as their government, which is to say not a lot. So even though we retain a lot of the ceremonies, both deeply religious and pagan adopted the country itself is still secular (won’t let me hyperlink):
    http://sucre.indymedia.org/es/2006/09/33879.shtml

  • Samiimas

    Well it’s obvious why he’s up there with Jesus, that man has the beard of a god and deserves to be worshiped as one.


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