Saturday, November 6, 2010

Dia de los Muertos festival

My first experience of a Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead festival. The venue was the Winchester Cultural Center. The top six photographs are of ofrenda - altars. The central one with the skeleton behind the steering wheel, commemorates those who have died due to 'reckless driving on public lands'. The one on the right relates to the Bracero Project. During WWII, the States signed a treaty with the Mexican government for millions of workers to build the US railway system and work in agriculture. Some of their earnings were deducted for a retirement plan, but the workers have never received this money and are now in a legal battle with the Mexican Government to claim it.
I also photographed some of the dancers before being shouldered out of my prime spot by a videographer. His camera was bigger than mine. The final performance of the festival featured dancers and musicians including a skeleton who emerged from a coffin to become a drummer - click on photo bottom right.

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