SHH celebrates DIA de los Muertos

Students used colored frosting and sequins to decorate their sugar skulls (Photo Credit: Theresa Benton).

Carefully shuffling through a small box of sequins, junior Lindsey Seashore hopes to find the perfect gem for her calavera, a sugar skull used in the celebration of Dia de los Muertos. This holiday is commonly known as Day of the Dead in English.

Seashore, along with other Spanish Honor Society members and candidates, visited the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) on Oct. 19 to decorate calaveras in celebration of the holiday. Dia de los Muertos is celebrated in many Spanish-speaking countries on Nov. 1 to honor deceased loved ones.

“It was a really fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon,” said Seashore. “Making sugar skulls was a unique experience.”

Students visited the DIA from noon until 2 p.m. In addition to decorating calaveras, students had the opportunity to take a virtual iPad tour of the famous Diego Rivera murals. The murals, painted in the DIA by Rivera from 1932 to 1933, depict various scenes, including life inside Detroit factories. The tour included information about Rivera’s life and an explanation of the many symbols in the Mexican artist’s murals.

“I learned a lot about all the little symbolisms and intricacies in the mural,” said Seashore. “It was a very interesting mural, and with the iPad tours, you could just look around without having [to read] something then look at the picture.”

The DIA offers free calavera decorating every Sunday in October, and general admission to the museum is free to any Oakland, Macomb, or Wayne County resident with ID.