by Sherri Stokey
Some people are offended by skull art and put off by what they consider macabre, but in many cultures, skulls are viewed in quite a different light. Revered. Celebrated! One of my very favorite traditions is the sugar skull, or Calavera, used to celebrate the Day of the Dead.
Mexico's Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, centers around a belief that the gates of heaven open for a short time and allow the spirits of lost children and loved ones to reunite with their families for a day. How beautiful is that! Although traditions vary from area to area, the holiday is generally not a sad, sober one; it's filled with love and color, food and flowers, and is a time for friends and family to gather and remember loved ones who have died. It is focused not on death but on remembering life. If you're interested in learning more about it, you can find much more information and lots of great photos here.
I just returned from a trip to Cancun (wonderful!!!) where I spent a disproportionate amount of time ferreting out skull/skeleton art. I found full size Catrinas:
Little bitty pets:
Even a couple at a table next to us in a restaurant:
Several of us here at Love My Art Jewelry have been inspired by sugar skulls lately. I've been making some micro macrame pieces: