Leny Chuquimia reports for Pagina Siete:
Another “look” for Christmas Eve
The Mancillas restore Baby Jesus images. The images arrive with broken fingers and disheveled hair. Resurgent faith in the image.
In 30 minutes, Virginia Mancilla receives in her delicate, warm hands at least six Young children Jesus. In some cases, they lack fingers and a good combed hair; in others, whole hands and feet should be operated on urgently.
“Since I was a child, I worked on this. All year retouch images of saints, but in times of Christmas work is exclusive to little children. We strive for children to be healthy ones and good looiking for the night of December 24,” she says.
Her skill and patience -transformed into art- is the inheritance passed by her great-grandparents and then the father of Virginia, who now shares her legacy. “It’s more than a century of tradition in the family. Now, with my 20 year old son who already work with us, we entered the fifth generation,” says airy.
Maintaining family ties, Virginia, her father and sister work facing each other in two shops at the Christmas Fair Urban Central Park. There “breaking long lines” of La Paz citizens, who take their children to receive healing and a change in appearance, with new hairstyles and even curly eyelashes. To date, the Mancilla have received 500 images, of all sizes, which they will be delivered in batches until the evening of December 24.
The craftsmen family work is very fine, so most customers arrive on the recommendation of others. “The simpler we do here in the fair, in a matter of hours, but there are time consuming and difficult things to be done in the workshop at Jaimes Freyre street. Especially in the case of Children made of wax that must be repaired on cold and. heat temperatures”, explains while stroking the hair of an original Cusqueño received recently.
The scars of past cures, dust on his face, his disheveled hair is opaque and marks the eternally old child image. “Like him, I saw Children of more than 200 years that are relics and that no longer exist. If the owners give me permission I would get a cast to make replicas of them,” she says while watching a good job, cures should not be noticeable.
The replacement of each finger on an image will cost 20 bolivianos. “It sounds easy, but it is not; in the fingers we have to do the detail of little nails, the fold of skin and color to blend with the rest of the image. Other restaurateurs charge cheaper, but they even use bread crumbs, instead of putty. and damage the image”, she argues sweetly.
Some customers are wary before leaving their “babies” in the factories, but leave others without remorse in the hands of the restorer’s left to be groomed and never return for them.
“At home we have a beautiful and huge crib and there welcome to all abandoned children. Until Christmas Eve I put even more handsome, heal them every last scratch and then seek them a family that want much,” says the curator. Candidates for special gift are generally young and loving couples.
Virginia that night, at home always filled with children, gangs of children laugh at their pranks are heard in the courtyard of the family workshop. In their rooms, dad, daughter and grandson are not surprised because they know that the date is special and that both small sick and healthy come out to play. “So you have to keep the Jesusitos in separate boxes, otherwise we will have to repair them,” says cheery.