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Azorean Nativity Scene

This is a traditional nativity scene displaying life on the islands of the Azores 9 islands off the coast of Portugal. This nativity scene was created in Lagoa on the island of St.Michael, Azores and was gift to our Portuguese library in New Bedford, Massachusetts. It was gifted by Roberto Medeiros in 2004 to the Casa da Saudade Free Public Library the first free public library in the United States. It’s been on display since then until it was moved to the New Bedford Free Public Library in downtown New Bedford after the pandemic for better viewing. I have been setting up the display for many years as a way of promoting my Azorean heritage together with library staff. It usually take me a few hours to set up it gets easier year after year. The books are created out of styrofoam and the rest of the display is moss, sawdust, sand, flowers and wood bark.

The Presepios main feature is displayed in a open book as to tell the story of the birth of Jesus.

Then it flows down to life on the islands the religious procession of Santo Cristo of the Miracles one of the oldest religious procession. It also has a band playing musical instruments.

We also display the Romerios, a lent event, where the men travel the island.

There is the killing of a pig a traditional event on the island as a way of having food and a celebration with family and friends. There are many other features that many people display on there own presepio.

Every year we change it up it’s never the same year after year. If you have any questions please feel free to ask

Frank Camara

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