Archive for ‘dia de los muertos’

June 5, 2011

Tin Luminarias

José Luz, master tin artisan making tin luminarias.
[vimeo 23988381]

Design time: 2 hours
Fabrication time:  4 hours


© Dos Mujeres Mexican Folk Art 2011  GO BACK TO STORE
All rights reserved

November 2, 2010

Dia de Los Muertos 2010

Here’s a photo slideshow of this year’s dia de los muertos celebration in San Miguel de Allende.

Click on the photo to view the slideshow on our other blog:

Flower seller, Dia de los Muertos - click to view slideshow

© November 2010 Dos Mujeres Mexican Folk Art

January 13, 2010

The Lorenzo Family

Last weekend we visited Nicolas Lorenzo whose family creates these wonderful retablos. We’ll be having more about this family  and their wonderful naive retablos.  You’ll find all of these and more on the site the week of January 20th.

This family is from the state of Guerrero Mexico, a small village in the rio balsa area where most of the amate style painters live.  Their work is in the style of the amate paintings that you see on bark paper but these are painted on masonite and laquered afterwards.  Most depict dances, village scenes, saints, animals performing human acts, popular figures such as luchador wrestlers and skeletons along with the supernatural. They are wonderful examples of naive folk art at it’s best – by untrained artists, using materials that are found nearby.  The entire family, including the youngest of children paint from an early age.

Here are a few close-ups

© 2010 Dos Mujeres Mexican Folk Art

November 2, 2009

Dia de los Muertos Altar

I spent most of the day on Calle Relox, with Elvia and her girls, watching and helping a group of young men build an altar for Jesus (Kiro) and in honor all of the other deceased of this neighborhood -parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters and friends. The decorating and painting of this fountain is a tradition with these guys and is also decorated by them for every major holiday or religious festival.

The day began at 9am – a group of men on a mission carrying buckets of soapy water, hanging two story long black curtains, placing the muertos figures, plants and Xuchiles. Then the draping of boxes and tables on which photographs were placed along with tequila, beer, food and last, a giant seed and sawdust painting of Jesus (nickname Kiro) as an ironworker (his profession) and the dates of his life, 1971-2009.

Here’s a few pictures of the day.
The links to the entire slideshow are at the bottom.

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Teri, Jesus’ daughter, plucking flowers

Elvia, surveying the scene

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Little Lupita
Who wanted a picture of herself below her father’s picture

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The seed and sawdust painting.
Kiro as a skeleton ironworker, hammer and anvil, 1971-2009

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The altar at night

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Elvia and her four girls at the altar at night.
Beto, her son, didn’t want his photo taken as he had just had
An operation on his jaw, but nevertheless, played a large part,
A rite of passage for him to be included with the men
In the construction of the altar.
CLICK ON THE PHOTO to view the entire dia de los muertos slideshow

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CLICK ON THE PHOTO to view the entire dia de los muertos slideshow

November 1, 2009

Six Months Later

P1040438I met up with Elvia and her four daughters at the cemetery today. She was late so I waited in front for an hour, arms full of flowers – you know me by now, trying to video people coming in with flowers, buckets, shovels, eating a bag of home made potato chips with salsa and lime, trying not to grease up the lens of my camera, wiping my dirty hands on my white blouse. Boy are those potato chips good, I usually don’t let myself eat those, but I coudn’t help myself.

There were hundreds, if not thousands of people inside. Gravesites were covered with flowers, candles and food. Little boys were running around with plastic buckets, offering their services to get water for the flowers. Mariachis, Norteno bands and street musicians were playing. I’ll never tire of watching a group of mariachis in their white embroidered suits, carrying trumpets, guitars and violins, sing to an elderly couple who have crawled over the iron fence which surrounds the grave, to place flowers, light candles, and sit down holding hands, while they enjoy the music with their loved one.

But that isn’t the point of this post. About seven months ago, my neighbor Petra lost her daughter Maricela to complications with lupus and on the ninth day of her novenas, Elvia’s husband, was murdered by a seventeen year old boy who wanted money for beer. It was and is a terrible tragedy for Elvia’s family. Elvia has a son and four daughters, ages four to seventeen. Today, was the first dia de los muertos for them. For a while we just stood around looking at each other, waiting for someone to bring a ladder to reach Jesus’ crypt which was at the top level. While we are waiting, Elvia tries to hold back tears as she notices that someone had come earlier in the day, leaving flowers and a can of Modelo beer. She is pretty sure it was her brother Fila.

Karin decides it is not worth waiting for the ladder and climbs the crypt asking for flowers. The older girls and I break off flower tops and hand them to her while Elvia holds her in place. Little Lupita stands by finishing off my bag of potato chips. Imagine having to decorate a gravesite this way. If it weren’t so sad, it would be comical. It takes us about fifteen minutes to get it just right, with Elvia putting on the finishing touch – the can of Modelo right up front in the center.

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There is a deep resigned grief, a few minutes of reflection, hugs and kisses around and agreement about how nice it looks followed by an agreement that he will like that Modelo, which makes us all laugh even though it is hard not to cry a on a day like this.

Go here to view the slideshow of this week’s dia de los muertos celebration

October 31, 2009

Dia de los Muertos 2009

The preparations have begun P1030956

There are flower sellers everywhere. Home altars are being created, Car repair, shoe and small tiendas Have transformed into flower shops. You can’t avoid the papel picado banners or skeletons. Although Monday is officially the day, Families are already in the cemetery Cleaning gravesites, Placing flowers Spending time together Praying.

Back in town, altars are being constructed in the Jardin P1040148

The altar above is in memory of the heroes of San Miguel.


Today, I went to the panteon –
Just a few families were there cleaning gravesites, placing flowers. Tomorrow there will be more people, and Monday even more. I will be meeting my neighbors Petra and Elvia there, With flowers for Maricela and Jesus who died this year. The family has not been to Maricela’s grave since she died. Last week, Petra told me she wouldn’t go to Maricela’s grave this year. Apparently she has had a change of heart, because today, She told me she will be going after all. Elvia is going with her five children. Together they will decorate the sepulchre where Jesus rests, But the main altar for Jesus, will be on Calle Relox At the big pink fountain near the artistan market. P1030952
Monday, the transformation of the panteon will be complete, Over the top with flowers and wall to wall people. Click on the photo below to view an album of photos Which I’ll be updating over the next few days As I visit the cemetery, my neighbor’s homes, Plus a visit to our friend Juan, who is making floral xuchiles For both Maricela and Jesus.

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Click on the photo to view the slideshow

November 4, 2006

Dia de los Muertos Oaxaca

Day of the Dead Photo Journal – some of our favorite pictures
Watch for updates and more pictures between now and November 2.

Copyright October 2006, Dos Mujeres Mexicna Folk Art
© All rights reserved, April 2006, Dos Mujeres Mexican Folk Art