By Anya Peterson Royce
A remarkable examine the loss of life rituals of an indigenous neighborhood in North the US.
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Extra resources for Becoming an Ancestor: The Isthmus Zapotec Way of Death
Popular artists such as José Guadalupe Posada (1852–1913) took death in new directions with startlingly macabre drawings of skulls and skeletons, known as Calaveras. His most famous, reproduced everywhere was the calavera catrina, a fashionable lady skeleton in a big picture hat. The images were accompanied by verses that fell into the category of political satire. Painters such as Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo incorporated death in their work in both blatant and subtle ways, allowing the observer to uncover multiple meanings.
The prayers include petitions to the Virgin Mary and to Christ on behalf of the departed. On that last day, visitors come and are given tamales and bread. The family offering the altar and the prayers does not eat any of the food. When the altar is taken down, all the food on it is sorted into separate portions, which are sent to those women who had come to pray (see chapter 6 for the extended discussion of these Day of the Dead practices). What makes the Isthmus Zapotec unique is their observance of Day of the Dead in their homes, rather than in the cemeteries as is the case in the rest of Mexico.
Rituals Observances and practices having to do with death fall into two kinds—communitywide and those of individual families. Both kinds involve reciprocity, transformation, display, and balance. For both, any single death begins a cycle of observances that lasts at least seven years and possibly more, depending on the sentiments of family members. 8. Velas are one of the most important symbols of being an Isthmus Zapotec. They are annual ﬁestas that include a vespers service and a Mass, a parade, an all-night dance, and a daytime dance.
Becoming an Ancestor: The Isthmus Zapotec Way of Death by Anya Peterson Royce