Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dia de los Muertos leaves a trail of dead this weekend

Posted By on Thu, Oct 29, 2009 at 5:42 PM

click to enlarge Los Cenzontles
  • Los Cenzontles

No one knows exactly when the sugar skull was invented. It may be the most recognizable symbol of Dia de los Muertos today, but the brightly decorated, edible molds likely date to a time before the colonization of the Americas. Many of Central America’s indigenous populations kept human skulls and bones to use in celebrations honoring the life and death cycles. At some point, sugar bones became a common offering, perhaps symbolizing the sweetness of life in the shape of death. Things changed when the Conquistadors arrived, however. For those who survived the bloody invasion, the Catholic Church moved the celebrations from the ninth month of the Aztec calendar to All Saints Day and All Souls Day on Nov. 1 and 2. Sugar skulls will be easy to find in the coming days at the Atlanta History Center and the Rialto Center for the Arts, where Eugene Rodriguez’s Los Cenzontles performs this week.

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(Photo courtesy the Rialto Center)

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