Ceramic skulls line the wall. Flowers, candles, bright-colored cut paper and marigolds join photos and other 'recuerdos' to honor and memorialize those who have passed.
On Thursday, Nov. 1, black tee-shirted students surrounded the displays to admire their handiwork, as they held the opening reception for El Día de Los Muertos display created by , at the Healdsburg Museum.
This is the third year that museum curator Holly Hoods joined with the club to create a weeklong display that honors the cultural tradition.
The cultural display has its roots in the Catholic Church. Nov. 1 is All Saints Day, when the saints are remembered. All Soul’s Day, Nov. 2, is the “commemoration of the faithful who have departed.”
This year the event includes display cabinets with ‘las calaveras’ created by the Lyra Harris’ beginning ceramics class and an art display by Linus Lancaster’s advanced art class. La calaveras are skulls created to memorialize a loved one who has passed on.
“The students created designs and carved them into the skulls representing their loved one,” said Harris.
Ceramics student Natalie Rodriguez created la calavera to honor her grandmother. She remembers visiting her grandmother’s kitchen and garden.
“During the summer I would go to my grandmother’s house,” said Rodriguez. “I would always look at and admire her dishtowel with strawberries.
“I would catch butterflies and see the bees—she always had a garden,” continued Rodriguez. “She had strawberries and raspberries.”
La calavera is remarkably strawberry-like in appearance—a beautiful creation that includes images of bees and butterflies.
MAYO Club advisor Toni Saunders beamed during the well-attended reception.
“Every year, we don’t know exactly what it’s going to be,” said Saunders. “Then the kids bring in their energy, their offerings and it creates itself.”
There were three committees of eight students each to cover family, famosos and famosas (famous people—male and female).
Auria Correa, also a MAYO Club advisor, is a strong supporter of Mexican traditions.
“Each year, we teach the students what we know,” said Correa. “And they teach us, as well.”
The displays will remain in place until Nov. 8. The Healdsburg Museum and Historical Society is located at 221 Matheson St. The museum is open Wednesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.