The Day of the Dead in museums

The Day of the Dead was declared as an intangible cultural heritage by the UNESCO in 2013

Celebrating the Day of the Dead in museums and archeological sites
Sugar skulls are essential in Mexican ofrendas- Photo: Jorge Alvarado/EL UNIVERSAL
English 28/10/2018 12:40 Newsroom Mexico City Actualizada 12:54
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The Day of the Dead is one of the traditions that was declared as an intangible cultural heritage by the UNESCO in 2013.

On the occasion of such tradition, the museums and archeological sites managed by the INAH have prepared several activities for the Day of the Dead.

At the National Anthropology Museum, you can admire the reproduction of a traditional indigenous house and ofrenda from Cuacuila, Puebla. The altar has different elements, such as traditional food, bread, candles, flowers, and clothes, until October 28.

The Templo Mayor Museum will set up a traditional ofrenda from the Chicontepec municipality, from Veracruz, starting on October 30. The essential pieces are flower and fruit arches that symbolize the connection between the underworld and the earth; it will be available until November 6.

Other options are the play On the way to Mictlán (Camino al Mictlán), that will be on theater on November 1 and 2; a conference called Ofrendas with yauhtli and copal: expression of the water and corn cult, presented by Aurora Montúfar, a researcher from the INAH, it will take place on November 3; and the monologues From Halloween to Mictlán and Memories of a Catrina, which will take place on November 3.

The Day of the Dead's ofrenda in the Tlatelolco archeological site will be dedicated to researchers who worked on this Pre-Hispanic site, such as Antonieta Espejo, Robert Barlow, Pablo Martínez del Río, Ignacio Marquina, among others.

In the Temporary exhibition hall in San Ángel, they have set up an altar dedicated to people who died in the former convent, and to mummified bodies.

The National Interventions Museum (Museo Nacional de las Intervenciones), in collaboration with the Coyoacán municipality, has organized the 5th Day of the Dead Ofrenda Contest, dedicated to Mexican gastronomy. The public will be able to admire over 20 ofrendas outside the museum, until November 2.

The History Gallery (Museo del Caracol) will offer free workshops for families, “Skinny skulls”, on November 2 and 3, where they will be able to create and decorate cardboard skulls.

The Cultures of the World National Museum (Museo Nacional de las Culturas del Mundo) will host a Museum Night on October 31, starting at 6 p.m. The night will begin with a Catrinas parade, a Balkan music concert, a theatrical guided tour, theatrical readings, and a touring of the temporary exhibition Visions of death in the world. Also, on November 1,2,3, and 4, they will host workshops and guided tours regarding the theme of death. The Yodoquinci group will offer an indigenous music concert on November 1; on November 4, the art performance “From the Ashes” will be presented in homage to the victims of the September 2017 earthquakes.

On its 70th anniversary, the Museum of the Cuicuilco archeological site has set up an ofrenda dedicated to Eduardo Noguera Auza (1896-1977), the founder of the museum, the first of its kind in the INAH. They will also offer the workshops, “Celebrating the girls' aunt” and “Paint your skull”.

Culhuacán's Community Center, the former San Juan Evangelista convent, will host a “Skull party”, where they will present the play La Llorona, and exhibit 10 ofrendas made by students and local artists. The venue will also host the 25th Latin American Tamal Fair, on November 1-4, and 11, 18 and 25. Guest countries include Colombia, El Salvador, Honduras, and Bolivia, as well as Mexican states such as Chiapas, Hidalgo, Michoacán, Oaxaca, Sonora, Veracruz, and Yucatán; the Xochimilco municipality will represent Mexico City.


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