Media Advisory: Life After Death: The Day of the Dead in Mexico

Wake Forest Museum of Anthropology’s annual exhibition, “Life After Death: The Day of the Dead in Mexico,” is open through Dec. 11. The museum has been offering Day of the Dead exhibits and programming for more than 20 years.

As Day of the Dead imagery becomes more prevalent in Halloween decorations and costumes in the United States, this bilingual exhibit provides the community with an opportunity to learn about the cultural significance, history and folk art associated with this unique celebration.

“Day of the Dead, or Día de Muertos, is a distinctly Mexican celebration, and as such, its prominence in the U.S. has been growing as the Mexican-American population grows and spreads across the country,” said Sara Cromwell, interim assistant director of the museum. “Day of the Dead combines the pre-Hispanic traditions of native peoples including the Aztec and Maya with the Catholic observances of All Saints’ and All Souls’ Days on November 1 and 2. The celebration is considered to be a festive time when families remember their dead and honor the continuity of life.”

The centerpiece of the exhibit is a traditional Mexican ofrenda, an altar with food and beverage offerings, flowers, candles, sugar skulls and photos of deceased family members.  The exhibit also includes a children’s ofrenda with toys and snacks, a wide selection of Day of the Dead folk art and a photo essay illustrating the celebration in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico.

The Museum welcomes patrons to contribute to the exhibit by placing photos of deceased family and friends on the altar.


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