Monday, October 25, 2010

Dia de Los Muertos.....Day of the Dead

As early as I fell in love with Halloween as a child, I was late to come to my love of Dia de Los Muertos. While my fathers family is Hispanic, as I have explained in the past, they lost something in the translation of their lives. My grandfather and his brother and their wives were all born here in the NM Territory, of that I know. But prior to that, well either the story has been convoluted or redesigned by family members who must have thought that our Spanish speaking, fore flushers had miraculously been dropped here in the desert SW in New Spain and never touched Mexican soil. They (the fathers relatives) did however claim the Conquistadors as blood lines.
Now I don't know about you but unless the said Conquistadors were able to clone themselves....and in that armor I doubt it, they had to have had a little bumping the nasty with the beautiful indigenous females in Mexico...which to me means....oh no dare I say it.....Mexican Indian blood also courses through their veins and mine (yay). But like immaculate conception, my relatives are Spanish not Mexican. So when in high school, I befriended a fellow mud blood whose family did celebrate El Dia, I was ready to parteeeeeeee.
I just Los Novios....newlyweds
My grandmothers family did say that they had relatives back in Old Mexico and were proud of being a family that had been on this continent before the Plymouth rock folks ya'll.
My grandfather's funeral had sealed it for me. This was some crazy stuff going on. For prominent persons of his era.....wailers were hired. Town vieja locas, crazy women who could cry and moan on the almighty dollar call. Vigils and visitations and then....they went and sat in the cemetery and went back to the cemetery with food and cervezas to leave for the old guy......wait, that sounds a little.....uhhhhhh. Yea I'm part Mexican and am not afraid of the dead or death. So there, I've said it and I come out of the family "I"m afraid of the dark" closet.
Miniature Ofrenda (altar) with good things to eat and drink you wanted to here our family secrets... I love Dia, like a whole lot. After working in a cemetery, which is another tale for another day, I came to appreciate the traditions that surround death. The place that honoring our dead has. But after immersing myself in all things DOTD (day of the dead) I feel so close to honoring them in a playful, loving, happy way. Enough saness already. We love them, they are still close, we should take advantage of the closeness we still can be a part of with them. And this is the time of year when so many cultures believe that we are closest to the dead. The veil between this world and the other side is the thinnest.
I swear, everytime I photograph this one...the spirits (upper left) want to be seen too
This year because of the explosion of Halloween at my house, I set up my altar on my bedroom dresser, not Sweet Man's fave choice but he deals pretty well (he's probably more in touch with his Native American and German roots than his Mexican side or the testosterone poisoning he suffers from is at a peak). And because this year I lost my dear sweet Willowmenia Ozgood (Saint Bernard sweetheart) she is added to my loved ones on the other side.

Be blessed lovelies.
These last three are just part of the deco in my bedroom, thought I'd share.


  1. I think it's a wonderful day. Every year I plan to set up an altar and never do. Maybe this year.

    My father's family comes from west Texas back for 3 generations, then it's a total dead end. the most we have been able to find out that is that there was a serious rift in the family around the time of the Civil War. Might even have been a name change.

  2. This is a great post, Linda. I LOVE your "Day of the Dead" decorations. I have always enjoyed Mexican and Indian art and I own some of it. It is so colorful and meaningful. I've been wanting to make some Day of the Dead art myself ~ maybe this winter. The things on your bedroom wall are cool. I especially like the sun, the madonna and the angel.
    You MUST tell us the story ~ you worked in a cemetary????
    Enjoy these DOTD Days!
    ♥ audrey

  3. I love it Linda! You did a fine job. It's a day to remember family and family pet members and friends who are no longer with us. I love your newlyweds too. Excellent. My wishes to you are happiness, health, and peace. Have a great week.

  4. Bet you can guess when I started getting into DOTD...yup, when I married Mexi. Your altar is wonderful...the spirits are definitely enjoying themselves :)

  5. I'm not even Mexican, But I celebrate as well- this festival is linked to Halloween and other feasts on the same dates. I don't get to decorate as I would like- but I sneak offerings and decor in.

  6. I really enjoyed your story ;-)
    how funny that the spirits always want to be on the picture too!

  7. I always learn something from your posts. Your house must be such a happy place with all the celebrating going on all the time!

  8. Wow, that was really interesting and totally new to me. I love the wonderful mixture you and SM have sprung from.
    I remember in Key West, some refused to admit they were Cuban, they were SPANISH.
    Glad you remembered Willowmenia Ozgood also.


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