Before the arrival of Europeans to Anahuac (Meso America), the Ancient Mexica (Mexicans) had no word for death. The thought of life coming to an end was inconcievable for a civilization that for thousands of years had developed a sophisticated philosophy of life and afterlife, a Life continuum…
The Nahuatl speaking Native peoples believe that ‘death” was a transition from this life to the next. This concept was called “Mikiztli” which meant ‘transformation’ letting go of the burden of the flesh and the destructive Ego.
The “Day of the Dead” is a colonial term that does not fully express the true meaning of what the Mexica called “Mihcailhuitl” a celebration of Mikiztli which was symbolized by the Calaca or smiling skull most associated with this ancient concept so unique to Mexico.
This year, we would like to challenge our invited artists to explore this fascinating theme, it’s symbols and metaphors. We are learning so much about what for so long was lost knowledge to us. It is our duty as artists or “Tlacuilos” those who record our stories with lines and color to reintegrate this our grandfather’s knowledge “Huehuetlatoli” to future generations