WFU’s Anthropology museum celebrates ‘Days of the Dead’

As part of its celebration of the “Days of the Dead”, Wake Forest University’s Museum of Anthropology will host an open house from 4 p.m.- 6 p.m. on Nov. 1.

“The ‘Days of the Dead’ are a time of celebration when deceased family members and friends are remembered and honored,” said Mary Jane Berman, director of the museum. “While observed in Mexico, Ecuador and Peru, most of what we know about the festivities and ritual is from Mexico.”

At 4:30 p.m., Pat Gardea, president of the local Hispanic League, will share her experiences growing up in El Paso and participating in “Days of the Dead” celebrations with her grandfather and grandmother in Mexico. Alphonso Lopez of the Que Pasa newspaper will talk about his experience growing up in Mexico City. The museum will also show videos of “Days of the Dead” celebrations.

Food will be served. The open house is co-sponsored by Wake Forest’s Center for International Studies, the anthropology, religion and Romance languages departments, the Divinity School and the Office of Multi-Cultural Affairs.

Through Nov. 1, the museum will feature an “ofrenda.” An ofrenda is an altar usually constructed in each house where “Days of the Dead” celebrations are practiced. Photographs of the deceased, their favorite foods, personal possessions, flowers, candles and incense burners are placed on the altar.

Those who plan to attend the open house should call the museum before Oct. 30 at 336-758-5282. Admission is free. Museum hours are 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For more information about “Days of the Dead,” visit the museum Web site at

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