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Oct. 28, On demand
To celebrate Día de los Muertos, the museum will showcase two unique Day of the Dead traditions: figural sugar work and papier-mâché arts. The Mondragón family are skilled sugar workers known for their sugar animals and the most popular symbol of Día de los Muertos: the sugar skull. They come from the city of Toluca, the heart of sugar-figure making in Mexico, where they have been making hand-decorated sugar skulls for more than 150 years.
Miriam Castañeda and Martín Ramírez create compelling cartonería tradicional (papier-mâché) figures called calaveras (laughing skeletons), which are famous for humorously depicting everyday activities. Calaveras have become closely associated with Día de los Muertos but, originally, they were used to adorn religious spaces and to represent various historical figures in processions.
Federal support for this program is provided by the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.