Olive-wood carving has been an important craft among the Christian Palestinian community in Bethlehem since Greek Orthodox monks first started the tradition in the fourth century. Nativity sets like this one are popular souvenirs for Christians who make the Christmas pilgrimage. Branches from pruned olive trees are dried for almost a year, then sliced into mosaic-like pieces and hand-carved into this charming and rustic 12-piece Nativity scene. A music box plays “Silent Night.” Handcrafted at a 133-year-old family-owned studio in Bethlehem.
Handcrafted by Christian artisans in Bethlehem, Palestine. 7 3/4"W x 7"H x 5"D.
Received this as a gift from my mother for Christmas. It is beautifully carved and will make a great tabletop nativity scene. However, the music box does not work well at all. It seems that maybe the spindle with the little metal points was put on backwards? Or maybe the metal comb was not positioned correctly? Either way, the sound that emanates from this thing is completely off and definitely not close to "Silent Night". I've thought about attempting to fix it myself, but it seems impossible considering the position of the music box and how it is glued. Overall it was a very thoughtful gift and I will keep it just for display purposes. But the music box is useless.
Was this a gift?:
Bottom Line No, I would not recommend this to a friend
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Each year, thousands of Christians make a winter
pilgrimage to the holy city of Bethlehem, following in the footsteps of the biblical Magi. Many return home with souvenirs of hand-carved olive wood, a craft tradition among Bethlehem’s Christian community since ...