Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Day of the dead and Frida Kahlo

In honor of the "Day of the Dead" being so close to halloween...
I decided to introduce Honeypie to Frida Kahlo. Frida was a beautiful female artist from mexico, who painted using rich and vibrant colors in a style that was influenced by the indigenous cultures of Mexico and Surrealism. Many of her works are self-portraits that symbolically depict her own life and the pain she endured. (Frida Kahlo was married to Mexican muralist Diego Rivera.)

(The Day of the Dead/ El Dia de los Muertos (all souls day) is a holiday celebrated in Mexico and Latin America. It focuses on family and friends gathering to pray for and remember friends and family members that have passed away. It is celebrated november first and second and traditions for this holiday include building private altars honoring the dead, using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts.
Because this holiday is so close to Halloween, The "Day of the Dead" is thought to be similar to Halloween, although the two holidays actually have very little in common. The "Day of the Dead" is a time of celebration and rejoicing, where in the U.S. Halloween is celebrated as a "scary" holiday, where people will put up scary decorations and have children knock on doors for candy.)

We read several wonderful books about the Day of the Dead and Frida Kahlo, painted sugar skulls and Honeypie painted her self portrait too.

Mama dressed up as Frida Kahlo...

This is a wonderful book for children that describes and shows the rituals , foods and customs of the holiday. Beautiful artwork and easy to understand. (Does not make the issue of "death" uncomfortable or scary).

This is an absolute gorgeous children's book about the life of Frida Kahlo. Ana Juan's paintings in the book are dreamlike and very much inspired by Mexican folk art and life. So inspiring!
We looooove this book!

And this book is a great children's biography on Frida Kahlo with illustrations by Tomie dePaola, who I am sure lots of you know from all the wonderful children's books that he writes and illustrates... (i.e. Strega Nona, the cloud book, the art lesson...)

And although this one doesn't necessarily deal with the day of the dead or frida kahlo... It was a find from our library and deals with the art of being a "storyteller" in Mexico and we loved the art techniques of the book illustrator.

Below are our Sugar Skulls...
And Honeypie's beautiful self-Portrait!

These are the sugar skull molds...
I used fondant to make them

Honeypie's self portrait

Her sugar skulls decorated

and mama's

If you'd like to make your own sugar skulls... (here) is a great site chuck full of information!

~Feliz Dia de Los Muertos!

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