Day of the Dead Alter

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Richard HarrisĀ standing in front of theĀ Day of the Dead alter

 

Day of the Dead..Dia de los Muertos..
The Mexican Celebration of Die de los Muertos – or “Day of The Dead” – reveals a very different attitude towards death compared with the European tradition. Written reference of Die de los Muertos has been found dating to as early as 1740s. The tradition has a strong foundation in Mexican folk arts, with a significant contribution from 19th and 20th century urban culture, especially popular prints and newspapers…

Dia de los Muertos is celebrated on Nov 1 and 2nd. While Christian tradition calls this “All Saints Day” and “All Souls’ Day”, respectively, Dia de los Muertos almost certainly combines pre-conquest Mexican culture with Catholic practise. Dea de los Muertos is a holiday designated for the living. Its alters and images are not part of funeral masses, not are they placed in cemeteries at other time of the year. In contrast to funeral, Die de los Muertos is a time of celebration and it’s elements are epemeral. Most of the things used in observing Die de los Muertos are temporary; food is quickly consumed, the alters are provisional, the decorations made of straw and colored paper, are fragile and impernament. The toys and foods have a humerous quality different from customs surrounding the burial of the dead.

On Dia de los Muertos the spirit of the dead are believed to return and visit the alters created for them by friends and relatives, who hold vigil at family graves. Alters to the dead are constructed beginning with a covered table, boxes and crates are stacked on top to create impressive spaces for the display of photographs of the dead. The alter are laden with molded sugar skulls, crosses and images of Virgin mary. Special Dan de Muerto [bread of the dead] and marigolds attract departed souls. Soap, water and razors are added so that the dead may clean up after this journey, favourite treats such as tequila and cigarettes are also provided by the living. While erecting their ancestral shrines, friends and relatives gather and relate found memories and humerous stories of the deceased.

 

For more on Richard Harris collection on Day of the Dead, click here..

 

 

Day of the Dead alter

Day of the Dead alter

Rudolfo Villano Hernandez [Mexican]

Mixed Media

A commemoration of the Bicentennial Proclamation of the Independence of Mexico [2010-11]

 

LI-RHC-DD-601c

Day of the Dead alter

 

LI-RHC-DD-401c

Day of the Dead alter

 

Day of the Dead alter

Day of the Dead alter

 

Day of the Dead alter

Day of the Dead alter

 

Day of the Dead alter

Day of the Dead alter

Day of the Dead alter

Day of the Dead alter

 

Day of the Dead alter

Day of the Dead alter

 

Day of the Dead alter

Day of the Dead alter

 

Day of the Dead alter

Day of the Dead alter

 

Day of the Dead alter

Day of the Dead alter

Day of the Dead alter

Day of the Dead alter

Day of the Dead alter

Day of the Dead alter

 

 

Day of the Dead alter

Day of the Dead alter

 

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1 Comment to “Day of the Dead Alter”

  1. I am very interested in your collection as my own artistic work is also concerned with how different cultures address death, illness and memory. I have explored religious belief, superstition and rituals in different countries resulting in installations, large photographic works and video projections. Recently I had a retrospective museums exhibition in Germany (Museum DKM, Duisburg) covering 25 years of my work. The exhibition was accompanied by a book publication (150 pages with images and texts in German and English). Title:
    Tanz,Tod und Beschwoerung / Ritual, Death and Incantation
    ISBN 978-3-942650-04-5

    It would be nice to hear from you.

    With best wishes, Claudia Terstappen

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