Lanii Xtee Tugul. Community project

The second phase of this Project was the installation of a permanent Día de Muertos Exhibit in the Community Museum. We arrived back in Teotitlan del Valle in April of 2013 to work with the Museum Committee; and, after organizational meetings, we all set to work.

The traditional offerings and articles for a typical Día de Muertos home altar were obtained, and we installed the altar as a large focal point. The same group of local men who traditionally make the sand painting for the chapel in the cemetery was commissioned to make a similar one for the exhibition.

In collaboration with the Museum Committee we arranged photography sessions with local women who volunteered to demonstrate the preparation of typical items important for the family celebrations – the making of chocolate, the making of tamales and the making of tejate (tejate is a traditional drink made of cocoa, corn and a flower from a local tree).

We used these photographs to create interactive galleries on a digital tablet, which was then installed in one wall of the exhibit. Several photographs were enlarged and framed to complete the exhibit.

On May 4, in a community event, MDP gifted the community with 300 copies of the documentary, along with rights to reproduce and sell it. All proceeds from the sales will be used specifically by the Community Museum for its maintenance and improvement. That afternoon the Community Museum's new Day of the Dead Exhibit was opened to the public for all to enjoy as they gathered on the Civic Plaza next to the Museum. A large crowd gathered as we waited for night-fall for the outdoors event; about eight hundred enthusiastic community members watched the world premiere of our documentary, “La Festividad de los Muertos / Lanii Xtee Tugul”.