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 Dia de los Muertos

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Day of the Dead Band University of Minnesota Duluth

mask - University of Minnesota Duluth
Man figure - University of Minnesota Duluth

Art created by students in the art education teacher training program.

PHOTOS - CLICK HERE. Working on sculptures for the 2011 display. Shown are art education majors: David Winfeld, Jennifer Rae Wallerich, Katie Marie Olson, and Janie Lee Morgan.

UMD Celebrates the Day of the Dead

UMD will exhibit a Dia de los Muertos display from 8 am to 9 pm, Mon., Oct. 21 to Fri., Nov. 8 in the Multicultural Center, located in the second floor of the Kirby Student Center.

The Dia de los Muertos Ofrendas (ofrendas means offering) is sponsored by the UMD Latino/Chicano Student Programs, Latino/Chicana Student Association, Office of Cultural Diversity, and the Art Education program in the School of Fine Arts.

Multicultural Center and Art Education Collaboration
The Dia de los Muertos Ofrendas is created by the students in the UMD elementary education program. The students create sculptures, install the ofrenda, and give programs to children about the celebration. They also write Mexican folk art lesson plans for elementary school classes.

Professor Alison Aune has integrated the Multicultural Center celebration into the art education methods courses since 1999. "I want my students to be culturally sensitive, inclusive, and tolerant educators who engage with the community," said Aune. "The Dia de los Muertos event is an effective way to directly share my love of learning, art, children, and community building."

The community stays involved. Marshall High School National Honor Students, with guidance from their art teacher Lucas Anderson (UMD 2008) and the UMD art education students to make objects for the display.

About Day of the Dead
The Day of the Dead is a tradition which dates back to the Aztec civilization.  The Aztecs believe that the souls of the dead return home to the world of the living. El Dia de los Muertos is one of the most popular holidays in Mexico, and is becoming more widely known throughout the U.S and in other cultures.

The tradition of sugar skulls, yellow marigolds, and bright decorations began thousands of years ago in what is now Mexico. The Spanish Conquistadors invaded Mexico and found the Aztecs participating in a ritual that seemed to "mock" death. The Aztecs saw death as a continuation of life, and celebrated, instead of mourned, their loved ones who have passed. Originally the Aztecs used the whole month of August to celebrate their ancestors, as well as honoring the goddess Mictecacihuatl, also known as Lady of the Dead.

The Spaniards didn't agree on their view of death and tried to eliminate the ritual. When they realized they couldn't get rid of the traditions, they decided to combine it with All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day, which are celebrated November 1 and 2.

Information on Day of the Dead


Story by Ellie Neigebauer and Cheryl Reitan, October, 2013.

UMD News Articles | News Releases
Cheryl Reitan, creitan@d.umn.edu

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Last modified on 10/17/13 10:12 AM
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