SchoolArts Magazine

OCT 2010

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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pasuchil (sem pa SUE cheetl) is the traditional flower of the Days of the Dead. Its strong scent is believed to lead the souls back home, and sometimes flower petals are spread in paths leading from the street to the doorways of the homes. The table in front of the arch or frame is covered with a nice cloth. The Ofrenda Photos of the deceased are placed on Preparations for Los Días de los Muerthe ofrenda along with flowers and tos include making special foods and candles. Special sweets, cleaning the foods, bottles of graves of loved ones, Ofrendas are erected soda, candies, and and making memoin homes for deceased loaves of bread rial altars called family members and are shaped like bones ofrendas. Ofrendas decorated with items (called pan de are erected in homes muerto) are comthey enjoyed in life. for deceased family mon offerings. Burnmembers and are decers with copal, a strong smelling plant orated with items they enjoyed in life. resin, are also placed on ofrendas. An ofrenda usually consists of a A traditional ofrenda will have table that is placed in front of an arch items representing the elements of made of sugar cane or bamboo, or a water, fire, earth, and wind. A glass of wooden frame, which is decorated water is offered to quench the thirst with marigolds and a variety of fruits of the souls who have come to visit. and vegetables. The marigold, or zemrespectively) with pre-Columbian concepts of death that have been a part of Mexican society since ancient times. According to the tradition, the souls of the departed return to earth for a twenty-four-hour period during the Days of the Dead. 22 October 2010 SchoolArts Fire is represented by candles, and the earth by fruits, vegetables, or other foods. Tissue-paper banners of papel picado flutter in the breeze, representing the wind. Often, a small dish of salt is added to purify the air. Ofrendas are decorated lavishly with sugar skulls, papier-mâché skeletons, and more. An ofrenda is a testament to the creativity of its maker as well as a moving memorial to deceased loved ones. Making an Ofrenda As a class project, ofrendas can be created to honor a special person, such as an artist or other famous person who is no longer living. Brainstorm with your students to identify famous people for whom an ofrenda could be made. Popular Mexican artists such as Diego Rivera or Frida Kahlo are interesting people to study and provide an opportunity to discuss Mexico's

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