"Death in Mexico :-)" Top 5 Page for this destination National Museum of the American Indian Tip by matcrazy1

  SKULL PAINTED FOR THE DAY OF THE DEAD
by matcrazy1
 
  • SKULL PAINTED FOR THE DAY OF THE DEAD - Washington D.C.
      SKULL PAINTED FOR THE DAY OF THE DEAD
    by matcrazy1
  • SKULL PAINTED FOR THE DAY OF THE DEAD 2 - Washington D.C.
      SKULL PAINTED FOR THE DAY OF THE DEAD 2
    by matcrazy1
  • CLEANING GRAVE BEFORE DIA DE LOS MUERTOS (MEXICO) - Washington D.C.
      CLEANING GRAVE BEFORE DIA DE LOS MUERTOS (MEXICO)
    by matcrazy1
  • LOGO OF THE MUSEUM - Washington D.C.
      LOGO OF THE MUSEUM
    by matcrazy1
  • BUILDING OF MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN - Washington D.C.
      BUILDING OF MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN
    by matcrazy1
 

In the National Museum of the American Indian I've seen some human skulls painted in vivid, bright colours by Mexican Indians. I've got to know about the origins of the day of the dead ("Dia de los Muertos" in Spanish) celebrated on November, 1 both in Mexico as well as my homecountry of Poland.

In Mexico it's rather a happy, joyful day, a kind of festival while in Poland it's rather a day for meeting family and serious reflection. As I noticed people who strongly believe in the life after death usually treat death of their loved ones as necessary event from the will of God and not very sad event, something like passing through the window between real world and the world of eternity. Well, before the Dia de los Muertos families usually clean and decorate the graves both in Mexico and Poland. But in Mexico some families build altars or small shrines in their homes, usually with many candles and various colorful items like flowers and such skulls as in my pictures.

The tradition dates back to the early Mesoamerican people who saw death as a continuation of life. They believed the deceased members of their family could return to them during a monthlong celebration in late summer. Did they had demographic high each late spring? Spanish colinizers tried and failed to put an end to the ritual. They moved the popular festival to the beginning of November to coincide with the Catholic All Saints and All Souls days.



Address: Fourth St. & Independence Ave., S.W. Washington DC
Directions: Metro station: Federal Center SW. On southern part of the eastern end of the National Mall, between the Smithsonian's National Air & Space Museum and the U.S. Capitol Building. Map here
othercontact: NMAIcollections@si.edu
Phone: +1 (202) 633 1000
Website: http://www.nmai.si.edu

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Mar 9, 2006
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matcrazy1

“Keep smiling, take it easy :-)”

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