Day of the Dead
Day of the Dead figures are made in several villages in Mexico from various materials including clay, ceramic and wood. The figures here are all made of clay which is fired, then painted. The village best known for this folk art is Capula in the state of Michoacán.
You will notice the tiny, delicate components such as those included in the hands and fingers. Many of these tiny parts are made separately and attached before firing while the clay is still moist.
As with many other Mexican folk arts, there is an intense competition in national shows and the artists compete for substantial prizes in various categories.
The Mexican tradition of the Day of the Dead (All Souls Day) is believed to have begun with the Aztecs around 500 B.C. Among Latinos today, it is a fiesta celebrating the remembrance of their ancestors.
Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) falls at the same time as Halloween in the United States, however the figures displayed here are not meant to be macabre or frightening, but to remember and honor those who have passed. In recent years this art has been collected and displayed in many locations in the US including galleries, restaurants and private collections.