Dancers: Danza Azteca Xocoyote at the Autry Museum in LA. Video by Jessica Aldridge.
Day of the Dead: Danza Azteca Xocoyote, Los Angeles
(WilderUtopia, wilderutopia.com, Oct. 29, 2012) Danza Azteca Xocoyote at the Autry Museum of the West in Los Angeles. "Day of the Dead" (Día de los Muertos) is celebrated yearly in Mexico and in many other Latin America countries during the last days of October through the first week of November. A time to communicate with deceased ancestors, it honors the transition from one life to another that we typically call "death." It blends the pre-Hispanic, Mesoamerican, indigenous Nahuatl (the indigenous, pre-Spanish language group of Mexico) with later colonial, imperial, Latin/Spanish-speaking Roman Catholic "All Saints' Day" (Nov. 1st) and "All Souls' Day" (Nov. 2nd) traditions. It was celebrated by the Aztecs, Toltecs, Tlaxcaltecs, Chichimecs, Tecpanecs as well as the non-Nahuatl Mayans. Death becomes a colorful dance, where "souls" (persons, spirits, Buddhist gandharvas, gandhabbas) never die. They rest in Mictlan.