On feast days, in towns and villages throughout highland Guatemala, effigies of the saints (santos) are removed from their niches in homes and churches, and the larger figures are carried through the streets in joyful processions. They are nourished by the smoke of offered candles, informed of village activities, and requested to intervene. Not simply sculptures, santos give assistance, answer prayers, and bestow good fortune, permitting devotees to connect with the divine.
Source: Gallery text, Intersections: World Arts, Local Lives, 2006.
See also: Marla C. Berns, World Arts, Local Lives: The Collections of the Fowler Museum at UCLA. Fowler Museum, Los Angeles, 2014.