Wednesday, 7 September 2011


shrine (Latinscrinium "case or chest for books or papers"; Old Frenchescrin "box or case")[1] is a holy or sacred place, which is dedicated to a specific deityancestorheromartyrsaintdaemon or similar figure of awe and respect, at which they are venerated or worshipped. Shrines often contain idolsrelics, or other such objects associated with the figure being venerated.[2] A shrine at which votive offerings are made is called an altar. Shrines are found in many of the world's religions, including ChristianityIslamHinduismBuddhismWiccaChinese folk religion and Shinto, as well as in secular and non-religious settings such as a war memorial.[3] Shrines can be found in various settings, such as churchestemplescemeteries, or in the home, although portable shrines are also found in some cultures.[4]

nicho is an object of Latin American folk art. Nichos are made from mixed media and traditionally combine elements from Roman Catholicismmestizo spirituality, and popular culture. Characteristically "nicho" objects have different names throughout Central and South America: they may be called retablo or by other local names. Also see article onPeruvian Retablos, a style that encompasses several different portable forms not discussed here.
In South America, it is common to see decorative boxes called "nichos" set upon tables and pedestals to display religious icons. These boxes may serve as a religious altar (to mark a significant religious event) or to honor a patron saint.
Nicho art originated as a popular adaptation of the Roman Catholic retablo tradition of painting patron saints on wood or tin. Unlike the large, flat panels of retablo, nichos are small and built in shadow box style. Common structural conventions include hinged doors, carved borders, and multiple panels. Within the box there is a key object or central figure for whose honor or memory the nicho has been created. Nichos are usually painted with striking colors, often contrasting bright and dark, and tend towards garish. In addition to painted designs, nichos are decorated with all variety of images and objects from religious and popular culture, especially depictions of the Virgin Mary, saints, the sacred heart, figures from loteriaDia de los Muertos characters and objects, and folk heroes.

Quick research on Wikipedia. 

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