Day of the Dead skulls
Replies: 15 - Last Post: Nov 28, 2012 8:04 PM Last Post By: eveymercedes
Nov 25, 2012 10:25 PM
Day of the Dead skullsHi there,
I'm off to Mexico for four weeks next year and super excited about it - I've never visited before. The other day I was at a market and there was a guy selling hand painted Day of the Dead skulls as ornaments. They were beautiful (about the size of a real human skull) and I thought about buying one, but they were very expensive ($180AUS). And then I thought, maybe it would be easier (and cheaper) to buy them when I get over to Mexico.
Could someone who has been before (or is from Mexico) please tell me if they're easy and cheap to buy there? I will be in Mexico City and Oaxaca.
Also, is it culturally insensitive to have these as ornaments (i.e. do they hold some kind of religious significance?) I wouldn't want to buy one if it's likely to cause offence.
Thanks for your help, I really appreciate it!
Nov 26, 2012 5:24 AM
1Day of the dead is November 1 & 2. After that there aren't many skulls and skeletons available except in mercados, paticularly touristy ones. There you can find clay skulls, skeletons and catrinas (female skeletons dressed in fancy 1930's clothes) all year round, some of them very nice. It's not disrespectful to buy such things or to display them so long as they aren't the brunt of jokes.
You might look for posters of Juan Guadalupe Pasada prints, the Mexican political satirist and cartoonist from the 1940s from which the famous dancing skeletons and catrina came from.
Nov 26, 2012 6:08 AM
Nov 26, 2012 6:59 AM
3In Mexico City, visit the Mercado de La Ciudadela near the Balderas Metro station on Line 1. I don't recall ever seeing DoD or "skull" ornaments (if you're referring to Christmas/Holiday ornaments), but there are vendors in the market which sell DoD items throughout the year. I think it's your best option in Mexico City.
Nov 26, 2012 7:01 AM
Neither this site's underline character nor the link inserter are working for me very well today. You'll have to cut and paste.
Nov 26, 2012 7:10 AM
5Actually lake wobegon, the Ciudadela is where I bought a nice catrina style calavera a couple years ago - paid too much - about $20, but it's pretty nice - got it on the bookshelf as I write.
Also, the gift shop in the museo de antropologia has some REAL nice calaveras, some resembling Frida, but they are super expensive.
Nov 26, 2012 12:52 PM
Nov 26, 2012 1:11 PM
Nov 26, 2012 2:36 PM
8You will find numerous artisan shops in Oaxaca City selling these kind of items. I bought a beautiful clay skull there that was made out of a black clay with a shiny finish that almost looks metallic, or like pencil lead. It's gorgeous.
Nov 26, 2012 3:04 PM
9You don't need to pay nearly that much money in fact I have a very cool hand painted ceramic skull on my fireplace mantle right now that I think I paid $25 for in Rosarito Beach in Baja. Oaxaca is the place to look for those items Oaxaca de Juarez which is the city of Oaxaca. There are a few shops off the main pedestrian walk street called the Alcala that have nicer crafts and they sell day of the dead stuff all year long. Be aware that most of those ceramic items are fired at very low temperatures and break very easily so it's hard to get them home in one piece. I always bring bubble wrap with me and if necessary you can have a wooden crate made for shipping, just ask around, there are places that do that. If you're interested in that sort of thing I definitely recommend a trip to Ocotlan de Morelos (Morales?) in the Valle de Oaxaca it's just a short cab ride from the city to visit the workshop of Josefina Aguilar. Awesome stuff. Many cab drivers know where her shop is, just ask in the zocalo. Again, she just low fires in modest pits so the stuff is not durable but it's fabulous. I have several of her pieces.
Nov 26, 2012 3:05 PM
10Oh by the way if you like those black ceramics there's a special workshop in a village where they make those by a special technique, you can grab a cab (around $7 an hour last time I was there) and ask them to take you there and you can see how it's done and buy stuff too. Again though it breaks easily I bought a piece and had to superglue it back together. Worth it, though!
Nov 26, 2012 5:59 PM
11#11....in your bio you say you lived in Mexico. After your advice....I sincerely doubt that....what a bunch of rubbish!
Nov 27, 2012 12:22 AM
Nov 27, 2012 10:48 AM
Nov 28, 2012 7:30 PM
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