Senor and Linda Lou have been in Pueblo Alamos, Sonora, Mexico for 10 years.
Every day brings a new discovery.
They are still working on the casa............Senor says, it won't be long.........but Linda Lou says, it won't be long until what..............stay tuned to find out what's next.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Festival de La Calaca in Alamos, Mexico

Hola and Buenos Dias! The Festival de la Calaca has returned to Alamos. Truly one of my favorite festivals because of its humor and wonderful caricature art of the calaca or skeleton. The festival was cancelled in Alamos, in 2009, when the PAN Party became the governing body of Alamos, but now it is back with the PRI government. And I am thrilled!

To me, the Calaca is all about La Catrina, depicted so beautifully in the charcoal drawing above by local foreign artist, Katherine Rink Callingham, of both Alamos and Arizona.

In 1910, Mexican lithographer, Jose Guadalupe Posada, created a calavera, a leaflet that made a satirical statement about a garbancera, any person who was embarrassed by his native Indian heritage, one who desired to become more like the French, upper class, well dressed and well versed. During this time many Mexicans were imitating the French and Posada's calavera quickly became very popular. The calavera was made in reference to a prominent person who had died and it said ' those who today are garbanceras, tomorrow will be deformed skulls'. His portrait drawing of a female skeleton portrayed a person with a wide smile and a fancy hat.

It was the famous Mexican painter, Diego Rivera, who, based on Posada's leaflet and the portrait, created his famous painting, 'sueno de una tarde dominicial en la alameda' or 'dream of a summer afternoon in the Alameda park'. Posada's female face, now with a body fully clothed in fancy dress was the center of the painting, and was standing, in the park, holding hands with Posada. Rivera named the female character, La Catrina, (a slang word for well dressed, elegant or fancy) and she came to represent death and how the Mexican culture understands and accepts death.

In the 1980's, the first clay sculptures were created of La Catrina and today we see her in many forms: clay, paper, wood and iron and bread dough.

The Alamos festival included beautiful altar displays dedicated to some of the deceased family members of the community, music, calaca art work by Callingham and many Alamos students. It also included an alley way filled with art work and lithographs of La Catrina and a variety of los garbanceras. 

 The altar below is dedicated to Alphonse Ortiz Tirado, for whom the famous Alamos FAOT music festival is named after.
 A well known doctor and tenor, the music sheets below honor his love of opera.
 Here is a lithograph of the Diego Rivera painting that shows the full creation of the Catrina. She is always well dressed, with a flair for flamboyance, always smiling under a large hat and always imitating the fancy, well to do of France.
 Below is the lovely cobblestone alley way where the lithographs could be seen and below that, the church, surrounded by ghostly circles, which some of my Mexican friends say are the spirits.

So, I am very happy to have the Festival de la Calaca back.
I will keep you posted on the Catrina puppets I have been working on. And Senor's garden project is moving along so soon I will show you that as well.
For now, the Seahawks are almost ready to play and Senor says I better be done soon. LOL, thank goodness for football online.
Que le vaya bien, linda lou


~~kattz*cottage~~ said...

I loved looking at all the colorful & such meaningful photos! What a beautiful & special way to remember loved ones :-)

SoftSeatTraveler said...

Mismo en Oaxaca
me gusta los fotos

Linda Lou and Senor, Too said...

hi girl, yes, it is a wonderful way to remember. it is a very vibrant celebration!

Linda Lou and Senor, Too said...

hola, soft seat traveler. enjoyed your blog post photos of the same in oaxaca!