Yesterday we visited the indigenous farming community of Romario for a fascinating glimpse into age-old Dia de los Muertos rituals and celebrations. Unprepared for the rain that had already begun by the time we got there, our stay was brief and soggy but intriguing and beautiful none-the-less.
Because my kids have been home all week for the holidays, and attempting coherent sentence composition amidst the resulting chaos is a little like meditating in an overcrowded monkey cage (only messier), I’ll simply explain a few photos and call it a day.
By noon, many of the men (and a few of the women) were already properly poshed (that is, hammered on the local moonshine).
The day before, grave sites were prepared by removing grass and constructing wooden “doors” through which the spirits are said to pass. Families then decorate the fresh-looking graves with brightly-colored flowers and the favorite food and drinks of the deceased.
Notice the Ferris wheel at the bottom of the hill? The carnival scene in the valley was a bizarre and celebratory contrast to the somber and contemplative mood on in the graveyard…
Sheep such as these at the base of the cemetery provide wool for the traditional shawls and cloaks. Both warm and water-repellent, none of the locals seemed phased by the rain.
We, on the other hand, were one soaked and sorry-looking pack of gringos. I bet they got a kick out of the blond locks plastered to our foreheads, the worthlessness of our rain-soaked hoodies and the vulnerability of the cameras we tried to hide. I know I would have, had I been sitting there, dry as the bones being mourned.