Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Mexico: Day of the Dead

Me and Will have been looking into the Mexican holiday, day of the dead for the new direction on our brief. I have started by looking at the holiday, and sugar skulls, which is something we both intend to focus much of our imagery on.

Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de los Muertos) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico, where it is a national holiday, and all banks are closed. The celebration takes place on November 1, in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day (November 2). Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. They also leave possessions of the deceased.
Scholars trace the origins of the modern Mexican holiday to indigenous observances dating back hundreds of years and to an Aztec festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl. The holiday has spread throughout the world: In Brazil, Dia de Finados is a public holiday that many Brazilians celebrate by visiting cemeteries and churches. In Spain, there are festivals and parades, and, at the end of the day, people gather at cemeteries and pray for their dead loved ones. Similar observances occur elsewhere in Europe, and similarly themed celebrations appear in many Asian and African cultures.

I have found that a lot of the images for day of the dead and sugar skulls that I have come across are quite modern. Me and Will have both agreed that we want to keep quite traditional with out murals and wall pieces. We have looked into buying moulds for mini sugar skulls, and to producing a wall piece incorporating them. The above image relates to the kind of thing we are wanting to. We are looking into mixed media and etching into wood, then overlaying it with laser cut vinyl. 


Starting to look at Aztec art...

The Aztec calendar.

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