candl01.gif (7440 bytes)Dia de Los Muertos  candl01.gif (7440 bytes)
                                          candl01.gif (7440 bytes)The Day of the Deadcandl01.gif (7440 bytes)

Exhibition by Alexis Ciurczak and Jose Rangel


Display layout in the Palomar College Library.

This exhibit is on display at Palomar College Library from October 15 through November 15, 1999. It focuses on the Mexican celebration of  Dia de Los Muertos or The Day of the Dead which occurs November 2 and the preceding evening of  November 1. Similar to All Saints Day and All Souls Day in the Catholic calendar, the Day of the Dead is a time when Mexicans visit the graves of their relatives, cleaning and arranging fresh flowers and perhaps repainting the headstones.

"Papel Picado" hand cut by Margarita Fick. 

Here are some close ups of the intricate designs of the paper cutting.


"Hole 19."

Dancing ladies.



The star of the show is a papier mache puppet designed after La Calaca Catrina. She was made by Alexis Ciurczak. Such great detail!

Handmade puppet after Jose Guadalupe Posada's La Catrina

To find out more about this fascinating artist, look for these books in the Palomar College Library: 

    NE546. P6 A47 1992
    Jose Guadalupe Posada, ilustrador de la vida mexicana

    NE546. P6 F73 1998
    Posada's broadsheets:  Mexican popular imagery 1890-1910

    NE546. P6 B47 1972
    Posada's popular Mexican prints: 273 cuts

    NE546. P6 A32
    Posada, printmaker to the Mexican people


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Celebrants construct altars (ofrendas) in their homes to welcome back the spirits of the departed. The ofrendas often include special food and items which the deceased enjoyed in life. Ofrendas for children usually have toys and sweets, sometimes in the form of small animals or sugar skulls (calaveras).

A man's ofrenda--cigars, drinks, other favorite items.

Alfenique--sugar sculpture.

Favorite drinks and snacks.

Calaveras--skulls, made from sugar.

Drinking skeleton from Guerrero.


Close-up of the papier  mache' skeleton.

Hanging skeleton.

Miniature papier mache' skeletons.


Religious icons often appear on altars.

Virgin de Guadalupe.

Virgin Mary


Miniatures of daily life are common.

Go to the Dia de Los Muertos page--This is a permanent Web site which explores this very unique Mexican tradition and includes an extensive bibliography as well as numerous links to other Internet resources on the subject.

The photographs of the display are by Peggy Nimmo and Gina Lopez. The page was compiled by Glenna Mitchell.

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