A party for the de­parted

Pasatiempo - - Mixed Media -

An un­likely fu­sion of Aztec be­liefs and Span­ish Catholi­cism, Día de los Muer­tos/Day of the Dead cel­e­brates the lives of de­parted loved ones. Us­ing candy skulls, marigold flow­ers, pa­pel pi­cado, baked goods, and cala­cas (skull and skele­ton fig­ures), many Mex­i­can Amer­i­can fam­i­lies build altars in their home to honor the dead.

This year, El Museo Cul­tural de Santa Fe cel­e­brates Día de los Muer­tos with more than 20 altars cre­ated by lo­cal artists and com­mu­nity mem­bers. Axle Con­tem­po­rary Gallery, a mo­bile gallery that op­er­ates out of a retro­fit­ted bread truck, will be parked at the mu­seum, dis­play­ing an ex­hibit of Day of the Dead-themed pa­pel pi­cado works by artists Catalina Del­gado Trunk and Christo­pher Gib­son. Be­gin­ning at 6 p.m. on Fri­day, Oct. 29, the mu­seum hosts a cel­e­bra­tion show­cas­ing its altars with food from Los Chileros and live mu­sic by E. Christina Herr & the Wild Fron­tier, Trio Zia, and Los Niños de Santa Fe. A cos­tume con­test will be held, and at­ten­dees are en­cour­aged to dress in the style of los muer­tos, with skull masks and skele­ton body paint.

Día de los Muer­tos is ob­served on Tues­day, Nov. 2, which is also Elec­tion Day. El Museo is a polling place; as vot­ers stroll past, there will be a bless­ing of the altars by Danza Mexika, a group that pre­serves in­dige­nous tra­di­tions from Mex­ico, that takes place at 7 p.m. Both events are free and open to all ages. El Museo is in the Rai­l­yard at 555 Camino de la Fa­milia. For more in­for­ma­tion, call 992-0591.

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