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Mexico's Day of the Dead: the making of the iconic symbol 'La Catrina'

Posted by: The Conversation

Date: Monday, 30 October 2023

This week Mexicans will celebrate Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. A feature of all the events will be countless reproductions of a garish skeleton with a wide, toothy grin, wearing an extravagant hat.

Known as “La Catrina,” the image can be traced to José Guadalupe Posada, a Mexican engraver who died in obscurity in 1913. His broadsides featuring uncanny skeletons were sold for pennies to working-class Mexicans.

In a story of patronage, propaganda and globalisation, cultural historian Mathew Sandoval details how Posada’s “Catrina” was transformed from the subject of cheap prints into a transcultural icon who has appeared in parades and been featured on everything from beer cans to Barbie dolls.

Nick Lehr

Arts + Culture Editor

How ‘La Catrina’ became the iconic symbol of Day of the Dead

Mathew Sandoval, Arizona State University

An obscure Mexican engraver named José Guadalupe Posada created the satirical skull in the early 1900s and sold it for a penny. But after he died, it took on a life of its own.

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Paul Morrow, University of Dayton

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Violent and disturbing war images from the Mideast can stir deep emotions − a PTSD expert explains how to protect yourself and your kids from overexposure

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Cockney and Queen’s English have all but disappeared among young people – here’s what’s replaced them

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Dr. Fikrejesus Amahazion at the XXIX International Rosa Luxemburg Conference in Berlin on January

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