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Goddess of the Dead

The Forge Collective Blog

- Elizabeth Mikutowicz -

With Halloween just around the corner we're also thinking about Dia de los Muertos, a holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and much of the US, although it originated in Southern and Central Mexico. In it's earlier form it was celebrated over the course of a month, and the "goddess of the dead" reigned over the festivities. Today, the holiday is observed over the course of several days on November 1st and 2nd.

It is believed that the souls of the deceased can visit their families for the duration of the festivities; which are centered around honoring and remembering those that have passed and helping them in their spiritual journey. The goddess of the dead still plays a large role in the modern day affair as La Calavera Catrina. In the US, painting ones face as La Catrina has become a popular form of observing the holiday. Check out the insanely amazing makeup by Krisztianna in these breathtaking Tim Tadder photos.

Las Muertas Tim Tadder

Las Muertas Tim Tadder

Las Muertas Tim Tadder

Las Muertas Tim Tadder

Families visit cemeteries and decorate graves of the dead with marigolds, the flower of the dead. Alters, called ofrendas, are often built in homage to the deceased, and include their favorite foods as well as mezcal, pan de muerto, and sugar skulls. The alters are meant to be an appealing array of favorites that will encourage visits from family members who've passed. The sugar skulls are decorated in beautifully elaborate patterns and look quite appealing to eat, although their main purpose is to decorate the ofrendas. The sugar skull tradition actually dates back to the 18th century and is meant to be a representation of departed souls. The skulls are placed on the ofrenda or gravestone with the name of the soul written on the forehead.

We've learned they're actually quite easy to make, although love the "not suitable for a rainy day" disclaimer! If you're up for giving it a try, you still have time before Dia de los Muertos!  Here's a great step by step tutorial.

If you'd prefer to leave to creating to someone else, let us make you a sugar skull. We've got several skulls adorned with precious stones, including the Hydra Maximus and Hydra Minimus Skull, as well as the Mus Pendant. The fun part is choosing your "sugar" with choices ranging from white or black diamonds, blue or red Sapphire, rubies, and emeralds. The only tough decision you'll have is what skull and stone combination you'll choose!

Hydra Maximus Skull

Hydra Minimus Skull

Mus Skull

. banner image by Chris Malbon .


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