Kenny Be's Yard Arteology: Black Madonna materializes in West Colfax

The study of neighbors through their lawn ornaments...

Figure 42. West Colfax: Black Madonna shows her hand.

Religious refugees and indigenous oddballs have always found a welcome home in the West Colfax neighborhood. It's the kind of immigrant-rich enclave where the Black Madonna would feel right at home.

Saint Sarah la Kali is (allegedly) a descendant of Isis who rescued the mothers of Jesus Christ, Saint James and Saint John from Roman persecution back in the day. Sarah is the patron saint of gypsies and palm readers, even though she has never been conferred sainthood by the Catholic Church.

The display of a Black Madonna and a raised hand sculpture together, suggests that the dwelling pictured in figure 42 is the home of a true gypsy. Placing Saint Sarah outdoors on hollow cinder blocks allows devotees to kiss her head for good luck and indicates that the resident gypsy seeks to share her access to the secret knowledge of "Our Mother's Womb."

The hand sculpture in the window, intimates that this gypsy yard artist is also a chirologist, a palm reader who interprets supernatural elements based on the physical forms of the hand. This combination also reveals a neighborhood that shares the good fortune of having all-inclusive sense of faith.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Kenny Be
Contact: Kenny Be