Friday, October 23, 2009

Setting up my ofrenda

Okay here we go. This is something I love to do. Take my very precious and favorite muertos lovelies and build an altar in my.....well I guess it is in the "room that shall not be named" now. Used to be my living room. Anyhoo. I am going to chronicle this process because I have some online and some local friends who are not familiar with Dia de los Muertos or an ofrenda.

Cute side story. When I told "someone" who shall remain nameless because she threatened to hurt me bad, if I revealed her lack of knowledge, about setting up an ofrenda today, she said "was that one of my crazy word spells for someone who pissed me off"? Offenda????? I LMAO. She was so cute thinkin' she was makin' a funny and it turned out to be funnier than she thought. As you can tell my buddies know me all too well. I will probably grab onto that phrase Offenda just like I have adopted the phrase "blessings and goats" because an online buddy was talking about, oh it won't make sense now, I just use it as a closing now. Doesn't make any sense but fits my special speak just perfectly.

Ofrenda's are a Latin American physical tribute to someone who has died. Most are set up in an altar like setting either at the cemetery, home, or publicly to celebrate the departed one's life. There is a terrific public one every year at the Hispanic Cultural Center here. Items that were important and meaningful to that person are left along with favorite foods, drink and goodies.

The souls of the departed are said to visit the ofrenda and enjoy the offerings left for them. My view of this is that the whole idea of Dia de los Muertos gives us a special time and way to honor those loved ones that are no longer on this physical plane with us. The ofrenda is an invitation for a visitation. Many families in Latin American countries spend the night eating, drinking and remembering in story and song their loved ones. Communing with the spirits. Whole cemeteries are filled with people, flowers, food, candlelight, love and an amazing feeling of closeness. A real human experience. It is awesome, it gives me goose bumps thinking about the aroma of the copal, the quiet laughter and comradely, the warmth of the candlelight and the otherworldlyness (a made up word if ever I saw one) of the event.

Now, nothing like that happens in my room but I do like to pay homage to my Mom. This is the part that gets bastardized by me. I have told ya'll before that my Mom was from Tennessee, my Dad from northern New Mexico. That makes me a Hispanic/Hillbilly. Beaner with cornbread not tortillas. Yerba buena y collard greens. Or something like that. So my ofrenda to my Mom has touches of the south and from south of the border. My Mom loved cornbread with a big glass of buttermilk, her emerald earrings, a cup she used for measuring flour which was the only piece she had from her first china set, and peanut butter fudge and a poem her mother gave her when she got married. All of those things are included on the night of November 1. Mom and I have had 7 nights together since she left, I look forward to this one. Quiet, love and peace and this year Shelley and the grands will be here to leave her favorite yellow roses too.

So I suppose I should close and go do my ofrenda and then post the pictures for you. So Adios ya'll, blessing and goats, Linda


  1. Hi Linda. Have you signed up with Stephanie? I have her link on my sidebar that is title to Dia de Bloglandia which is really for Dia de Los Muerto's on November 1. What she does is posts everyone who has signed up and you leave your link there so that you get more viewers to see your ofrenda. She does this every year. Last year it was really great. I set my ofrenda up already, I just need to take pictures and post it on Nov.1 or perhaps late 10/31. I can hardly wait to see yours. Have a great weekend.

  2. Linda,
    I've very much enjoyed reading about and looking at your ofrenda! I love your collection of dia art. I do hope you join us on Nov 1st!!


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