Nuestra Senora de Talpa
July, 1986
23" x 15" x 1"
Retablos, Wood and watercolor
Region: Santa Fe, New Mexico
Signed, dated and titled verso
In the state of Jalisco in Mexico is a little village known as Talpa de Allende. Today it is a center of Marian devotion, but in the 17th Century it was known to few besides the priests who came occasionally to administer the sacraments.

The poverty of the villagers was reflected in their church, which was decorated in the crude fashion of the Mexican Indians in the area. Its chief ornaments were statues carved from cornstalks. With the passing of time, the cornstalks had decayed, and the statues had become ugly images of Our Lady and the Saints. In 1644, the priest gave orders that the statues should be destroyed.

Among the statues was one representing Our Lady of the Rosary, with her child in her arms and the half-moon at her feet. As one of the village women reached to destroy this image, she was suddenly surrounded with a very bright light. The crumbling statue was miraculously changed – its soft substance become solid and strong, its ugly outlines became extremely beautiful. This miracle took place on September 19, 1644. Since that time, this image has been venerated in the Basilica of Talpa de Allende, and devotion to Our Lady of the Rosary of Talpa has spread among the Mexican people.

About the Artist
One of New Mexico’s most renowned santeras, Marie Romero Cash is a well-known award-winning folk artist and writer in Santa Fe where she has lived most of her life.

The daughter of prominent traditional tinwork artists, the late Senaida and Emilio Romero, Marie has created art for a number of churches in the United States and in Mexico, including Stations of the Cross for the Basilica of St. Francis in Santa Fe. She has participated in the annual Spanish Market in Santa Fe for over 45 years, having won many awards for both traditional and contemporary works.

As a writer, her early works focused on research-based books about the culture and churches of Northern New Mexico, along with a memoir about growing up in Santa Fe in the 1950s.

A number of years ago she began to write a mystery series based around Santa Fe featuring Jemimah Hodge, a forensic psychologist. A romantic novel about the Pueblo Revolt began as a screenplay over ten years ago when she was a student at Lesley College in Boston. Her most recent book is a novel rather than a mystery, "The Word Thief.” She is currently working on another memoir and a new screenplay.

Her works are in the following collections: the Museum of International Folk Art; the Albuquerque Museum; the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art; the Smithsonian Institute; the Vatican; the Archdiocese of Santa Fe; the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center; and many private collections.