El Dia de los Muertos/The Day of the Dead Ceremonial
The Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC) in collaboration with artist Linda Vallejo
Los Angeles, CA
November 3, 2001
“We give thanks to the sacred Four Directions, Mother Earth, Father Sky and the Great Spirit, for our families, ancestors, and life itself”
Day of the Dead Community Altar, 2:00 pm
The community is welcomed to place photographs of loved ones and flowers on the altar in honor of family and relatives. A time- honored event celebrated by cultures all over the world, The Day of the Dead is a time to remember those departed and given thanks for our families and life itself.
“Communion with the Dead” Lecture
presented by Lara Medina and Gilbert R. Cadena, 2:30 pm
Days of the Dead celebrations in Los Angeles have increased dramatically in the past thirty years. This presentation and slide show, based on two Días de los muertos events (Self Help Graphics, a Chicano Community Art Center and Dolores Mission, a Roman Catholic parish), will examine the spiritual and political significance of Días de los muertos in the lives of Chicanos and Mexicanos in East Los Angeles. Lara Medina is Assistant Professor of religious studies at California State University, Northridge. She is currently working on a manuscript entitled LAS HERMANAS: Chicana/Latina Religious-Political Activism to be published by Temple University Press. Publications include “Los Espiritus Siguen Hablando: Chicana Spiritualities” in Living Chicana Theory, ed. Carla Trujillo (Berkeley: Third Women Press, 1998) and “Broadening the Discourse at the Theological Table: An Overview of Latino Theology 1968-1993” in Latino Studies Journal, vol. 5, no. 3, September 1994. Gilbert R. Cadena is professor in Ethnic and Women’s Studies Department at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. He has written on Días de los Muertos, Latinas/os and the Catholic Church, Liberation Theology, religious ethnic identity, and religious leadership. He earned a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Riverside and is co-editor of Old Masks: New Faces: Religion and Latino Identities (1995).
Luncheon Served, 3:30 pm
“Promise of Faith” performance by CUICANI, 4:00 pm
This performance is a reflection of the faith in all those things that help one to exist and keep a balance on this journey through the ages of life. Now, more than ever, we as human beings must continue to find those elements that nurture and renew our faith in one another as a human family on this planet our Mother Earth…for all my relations! Cuicani is a vibrant and well known vocalist, actress, and composer. She has performed with major artists including Paul McCartney, Kenny Loggins, Linda Ronstadt, Poncho Sanchez and Tito Puente. She recently released a CD entitled “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,” a compilation of her music from 1986-1997.
Ceremonial Danza and Prayer Circle, 5:00 pm
presented by Flores de Aztlan Dance Troupe and All Nations Women’s Circle
These two prominent indigenous women’s group will offer danza, ceremonial, and a circle of prayer.
Songs For The Ancestors, 6:00 pm
members of tribal groups from throughout Southern California
These special guests will present traditional songs, accompanied by gourd rattles and clapping sticks, offered in memory of those that came before us.
Candlelight Vigil, 7:00 – 8:00 pm
A quite candlelit evening to remember loved ones and the joys of living. Pan de Muerto and Chocolate will be served.