Denis Vejas

Culture Day of the Dead - Las Catrinas 2019
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It is believed that the Aztecs worshiped a goddess of death that they alleged protected their departed loved ones, helping them into the next stages. The Mexican tradition of honoring and celebrating the dead is entrenched deeply in the culture of its people.
Catrina is an elegant female skeleton - the personage, created in the beginning of last century by Mexican artist Jose Posada, and lately developed by Diego Riviera.
Initially it was created as a political satire to mock the emptiness of rich upper class.
To explain and rescue the folklore of honoring the memory of those who have died, while showing this off to high society, Posada made caricatures of Death with a sophisticated and skeletal essence.
A satirical drawing to remind people to be themselves and to stop trying to be something that they weren’t. No matter how rich or poor you were, no matter the color of your skin, and no matter what society you belonged to, you would all end up skeletons. This was Posada’s message with his many caricatures of calaveras sketched doing various daily activities. La Catrina has become the referential image of Death in Mexico, showing the tradition of welcoming and comfort the Mexicans have with death, as well as reminding that everyone is equal in the end.

La Catrina is a strong visual image depicting how the Mexican people see death and the afterlife. Different cultures have diverse traditions in regards to death and how they deal with it individually and as a family. Mexico is very unique in their views of this fact of life and prefers to take it good-humorously and passionately. That is not to say that they don’t grieve and miss a loved one who passes away. What it means is that they choose to celebrate the life and memories the person created while they were with them instead of indulging in the fact that they are gone forever.

All the photographs were taken during the Day of the Dead celebration in Morelia, November 2019
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