The ''black wedding'' scene looked awfully familiar to Melyna Mosher, of Davenport, as she toured a ''Keeping the Spirits Alive'' Catrina Showcase Friday at the Casa Community Arts Center in Moline.|
The scene featured iconic Mexican characters named Catrina and Catrin. Ms. Mosher and her husband, Micah, had worn similar skeleton costumes for a Friday event. So she couldn't pass up posing with a tuxedo-wearing Catrin to show to her husband once he got home from work.
More than 30 other La Catrina figures were featured during ''Dia de Los Muertos'' -- "Day of the Dead" -- open house at Casa Guanajuato's new community arts center at 1401 16th St., Moline.
''This is a debut of sorts,'' executive director Michael Woods said. ''This is a new venue for us which we hope, in time, will become similar to the Martin Luther King Center in Rock Island, but with a Hispanic/Latino flair.''
The popular Mexican holiday celebrated for centuries traces its origins to a similar ritual by the Aztecs, according to information at the event.
''It's not Halloween,'' said Jamie Aguilera, a Casa Guanajuato youth advocate who helped make several of the figurines displayed Friday.
Dia de los Muertos runs from midnight Oct. 31 to Nov. 2. And while Halloween typically depicts death as something to be feared, Dia de los Muertos festivals view death as a concept "that's embraced and celebrated with the full gusto of the living,'' according to materials at the event.
"It is very similar to going to a grave and leaving flowers of stuffed animals, or lighting a candle to remember the deceased," the materials read.
The iconic La Catrina plays an integral part.Catrina wears fancier clothing than people belonging to a lower socio-economic class would, suggesting that -- no matter your position in life -- in death we're all the same, Mr. Aguilera said.
Members of the local Hispanic community brought photos and memorabilia for one of Friday's displays.Others featured a wide variety of skeletal Catrina figures, from ones resembling Grant Wood's "American Gothic" painting to a La Bella Catrina pageant contestant accompanied by a mariachi band.
Ms. Mosher said the wide variety made her proud of her Mexican heritage. Italso amazed Rosie Sly-Ginther of Davenport, who said she has visited Mexico for the last 18 years.
"I knew it would be good,'' she said of Friday's showcase, ''but never dreamed it would be this good.''
Wearing a Zorro costume, Tony Becerra, of Moline, said he was proud of the mark left by the showcase. He helped make part of the mariachi band display and had a hand in some of the others.
''I hope we can continue to bring more traditions from Mexico and showcase them like this,'' Mr. Becerra said. ''I don't think some of our own people know their customs and traditions.''
Moline, IL Details
|(More Print Ads)|