Friday, October 26, 2007

Altars and Offerings for Night of the Dead

In Patzcuaro, one can now see altars and offerings here and there as they are being set up for the approaching Night of the Dead (Noche de Muertos). They are often decorated with photographs of the deceased, as well as personal items, such as glasses or a hat. They may proffer the departed's favorite foods and beverages. For a person deceased in recent years, an arch is built. The arch is then taken to the cemetery and placed on the grave on Noche de Muertos. Each Purhepecha pueblo has a distinctive style for its altars, offerings and the decoration of the grave. Viewing the altars and keeping vigil graveside is certainly bitter-sweet, but the predominant mood is one of remembrance and togetherness, more than of desolation and grief.

[Double click on photos to see larger image.]

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