Dia de los Muertos workshop

Thursday afternoon the Aztec dance group Flor y Canto showed Portland State students Aztec dance and how to build an altar to deceased loved ones. Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, ran from Nov. 1 to Nov. 2. “Dia de los Muertos is to honor those people who have died,” said Nancy Ramirez, co-coordinator for the event. One of the facets of celebrating Dia de los Muertos is the creation of an altar to a perished loved one. Flor y Canto coordinator Rigoberto Hernandez laid out an assortment of food onto a blanket including tomatoes, corn and tortillas. He also laid out dolls, cloth, drinking glasses, a seashell and many other things. Hernandez implored attendees to come up and build a small altar out of these materials. He stressed that there wasn’t any one way to do this. “There is no wrong or right in building an altar,” he said. “Start looking over the things up here, start to build a connection.” Several students used the materials to create an impromptu altar. Hernandez finished the altar by adding a photograph to it. Flor y Canto then performed an Aztec dance. Several students were invited to participate in the dance, while Hernandez kept beat with a large drum. The presentation ended with a poetry reading, which was conducted entirely in Spanish.