What’s it all about?
This is a short class on the origins of the Day of the Dead, a celebration of the ancestors that is Mexican, but has taken over the whole world.
What will we cover?
First we will explore the roots of this practice amongst some of the ancient groups of Mexico. The Maya, Aztec, Totonac, and other groups believed in duality: day/night, light/dark, life/death. As such, the satirical and natural antagonism of laughter and pain take form in the shape of a sweet smiling skull. Then we will analyse the elements that survived through the years of Spanish colonialism, which resulted in a fusion of pagan and the religious in what we now know as “dia de muertos”or “dia de todos los santos” as it is known in Spain and in other countries of Latin America.
We will also identify the elements that constitute an altar, the central piece of the celebrations. Candles, marigolds, food, drink, and images of the deceased are a few of the key elements present on the altar.
Who will be teaching?
Coral is a Mexican archaeologist who has studied the ancient diet of the Maya people in the south of Mexico. She has more than 15 years of experience as an archaeologist and has worked in many parts of Mexico and more recently in Australia. With the information she has gathered from her studies, she has set a small catering company where she cooks traditional dishes using Prehispanic ingredients and methods.