Happy Halloween – “Dia de los Muertos”

Some years ago Art & I made a trip to several colonial cities in Mexico during “Dia de los Muertos “(day of the dead), a National holiday. I had read about the famous Mummies of Guanajuato, and it seemed a good time to visit the Museum.   As we traveled through the countryside (via el autobus) we were treated to the sight of cemetaries made bright with bouquets of Marigolds.

We also noticed piles of ashes where we were told were human remains.  Dug up from their burial site and cremated right there, because the family could no longer pay the fee for yearly internment, or the last member of the family had passed away.  The contrast of bright marigolds and blackened bones was startling.  Dia de Los Muertos is a time for families to visit their buried loved ones bringing gifts of food and flowers.

Actually with all that color, it seemed more a time of rejoicing their past lives than a time of mourning.

Using our minimal Spanish we found our way to the museum on an unpaved side street.  It wasn’t fancy; lots of dusty relics, and many mummies.  It wasn’t really as gory as it sounds.  Actually some of them reminded me of paper mache art, until I reminded myself these had been real people with real stories.

History says these people died around 1865 during a fatal epidemic, and were buried immediately to control the spread of the disease.  Unfortunately, some were buried alive in the rush. Due to the extremely dry climate of the area, the mummified bodies remain in tact, and are displayed today.

Try as I might, I have not been able to resurrect my photos of this trip; so will add some from the Internet.  I’m sure they will pop up someday – another lesson to label and properly store your photos, negatives, slides, etc.!  I was good at taking plenty of pictures, but failed to protect them for future use.

For more information, and pictures go to http://www.mummytombs.com and click on the Guanajuato site.

As for my lost photos – do as I say, not as I do, and Happy Halloween wherever you are!

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