Skulls to the Living, Bread to the Dead: The Day of the Dead in Mexico and Beyond
Part 1 Introduction.
1. The Day of the Dead, Problems and Paradoxes.
Part 2 Historical Foundations.
2. The Sweetness of Death.
3. Skulls and Skeletons.
Part 3 Contemporary Transformations.
4. Tourism and the State.
5. The Poetics of Death.
6. The Day of the Dead and Halloween.
Part 4 North of the Border.
7. Teaching the Day of the Dead.
8. Creativity and Community.
Part 5 Conclusion.
9. Mexican Views of Death.
"A cogent, attractively presented case study of a single festival in its diverse forms. It provides a lucid account of cultural change and a careful plotting of causes and influences." (Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, March 2009)
"As Brandes explains in this small, well-written, colorfully illustrated volume, the Day of the Dead has strayed far from its origins as a Mexican version of the pan-Roman Catholic All Saints' and All Souls' days to become a spectacular international and interethnic happening ... Recommended." (CHOICE)
"Penetrating look at … how religious ritual can be shaped and transformed by culture … to serve new purposes in a rapidly changing world." (Missiology)
- A fascinating look at the Day of the Dead - Mexico’s version of All Souls’ Day - when Mexicans clean, decorate, and maintain vigil over relatives’ graves.
- Dispels myths about the rituals, which have been misconstrued as morbid or morose.
- Shows that, rather than feeding a national appetite for death, the festival is in fact a powerful affirmation of life and creativity.
- Beautifully illustrated with both black and white and colour photographs.