Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos)
Above photo courtesy of Palermo Galindo.
The Day of the Dead celebration at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art was a success! We had record attendance – more than any other FWMoA event to date. The entertainment was lively as you can see from the flowing of the colorful skirts in the photo above. The food and margaritas were satisfying and the energy of the crowd was electric.
I was struck by the presence and aliveness of this cultural community. I love my Irish and Croatian heritage – I research it, I carry some of it forward, I honor the struggles of those that made me who I am today – but I feel a little alone in the absence of the community of it. When my grandmother arrived in the early 20th century, it was important to meld in as quickly as possible and become fully American, whatever that meant at the time, and thus, just two generations later, my rich cultural heritage has become blurry. The colors, the foods, the traditions, the community – I wish that more of it was alive today and part of my everyday life.
It feels like we may be smarter now. We realize the value of a diverse cultural community and thus are more eager to keep traditions alive. At least I hope that’s how it is. Right now we have the color and freshness of our Mexican community, as well as the Burmese and Bosnian just to name a few. My hope is that their cultures and traditions remain an integral part of their lives for generations to come. And I hope that the communities into which they weave themselves welcome and honor them fully.
My altar in the exhibition was entitled Who Eats Better?! Photos and writings from it may be viewed in the gallery section of this website. Please note that you can click on each image to see a larger view which may be necessary to see the details of each place setting more clearly.
More photos from the evening are below. Enjoy!
Aztec dancers. Photo courtesy of Palermo Galindo.
More stunning dancers in the atrium of the museum. Photo courtesy of Palermo Galindo.
Fernando Tarango, singer-songwriter with a beautiful tenor voice. Photo courtesy of Palermo Galindo.
No fiesta is complete without a mariachi band. Photo courtesy of Palermo Galindo.
Me and dear friend, Ann. Photo courtesy of Joel Sauer.
El Catrin and La Catrina (aka Emmanuel Ortiz and another dear friend, Emily Guerrero.) Please note La Catrina’s glow-in-the-dark skeleton tights! Photo courtesy of Palermo Galindo.
The three photos of altars above are courtesy of Palermo Galindo.
The four photos of altars above are courtesy of Joel Sauer.