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By Anya Peterson Royce

A impressive examine the dying rituals of an indigenous neighborhood in North the United States.

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Additional resources for Becoming an Ancestor: The Isthmus Zapotec Way of Death

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Mexican writers such as Octavio Paz have speculated about Mexican attitudes toward death—mocking, challenging, not fearful—and the reasons why it should be so. Popular artists such as José Guadalupe Posada (1852–1913) took death in new directions with startlingly macabre drawings of skulls and skeletons, known as Calaveras. His most famous, reproduced everywhere was the calavera catrina, a fashionable lady skeleton in a big picture hat. The images were accompanied by verses that fell into the category of political satire.

19). A cosmos with supernatural forces such as these is what one would expect of an agricultural society, especially one living in the physical environment of the Valley of Oaxaca. 14 BECOMING AN ANCESTOR Dry Old people, the dead, the ancestors, tuberculosis, toads, and the north wind— these are all examples of dryness. In some cases, this is part of a natural process and not regarded as bad, as in old people whose other qualities such as wisdom and transformation compensate the dry state of their bodies, and the ancestors who continue to intercede and provide models of proper behavior for the living.

He is surrounded by four sprouting seeds, at least one of which is a corn plant. The other Pastrana created as the invitation to the 2001 Vela Pineda. At the top center of the drawing is the face of a Juchiteca wearing the white starched lace headdress in the manner one uses for church. She is flanked by two iguanas. Beneath her is a turtle facing upward. The turtle is flanked by four frangipani blossoms each attached to their leaf. It is a remarkable incorporation of all the significant Zapotec imagery.

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