PELHAM, NY -- Pelham Art Center’s Folk Arts Series presents the annual celebration of Mexican Day of the Dead (El Día de los Muertos). Come join in this festive Mexican tradition in which passed loved ones are remembered with joy and celebration. Renowned artist Zafiro Romero-Acevedo returns to the Pelham Art Center to share the history of one of Mexico's richest traditions.
Telpochcalli, the Traditional Mexican Performance Arts & Theater, is composed of Mexican, dancers, ages 9-14. These young performers will charm the audience with the traditional Day of the Dead dances, Las Huahuas, from the state of Puebla, Mexico. Their colorful hats represent the Sun God of the Aztec known Huitzilopochtli, Aztec God of Sun and War. Huitzilopochtli's name is a combination of two Nahuatl words, huitzilin, meaning “hummingbird”, and opochtli, which means “left” — the god's name translates literally as "Hummingbird on the Left."
The performance will be followed by an art- making workshop where we will be creating handmade cards in memory of our loved ones using Huichol art bead techniques while learning about the rich history behind the craft. Paper lanterns will also be made to cast light on the memory of those passed.
Day of the Dead
In the Mexican culture, death is addressed through many cultural and religious rituals. It is believed that the souls of the dead return each year to visit with their living relatives – to eat, drink, and be merry. In Mexican tradition, this is a day to remember the dead and to celebrate by preparing special foods in honor of those who have departed. On this day, the streets near the cemeteries are filled with decorations of flowers and calaveras, skeletons and skulls made of candy. Pelham Art Center continues these folkloric traditions and honors the memory of loved ones as part of its Folk Art Series.
Zafiro Romero-Acevedo was born in Morelos, Mexico, and has lived with her family in Yonkers since 1984. She was brought up in a strong cultural heritage which included Mexican folklore performances, murals, and paper arts. Her family shared Mexican arts activities in Saint Peter's Church, Saint Mary's Church in Yonkers, and Manhattan. Mrs. Acevedo earned her bachelor's degree from the Art Institute of Philadelphia, PA, majoring in Computer Graphics Technology in Multimedia and an Associate’s degree in Fine Arts and in Animation. She conducts workshops in Mexican fine arts and traditional Mexican performing arts and theater in Yonkers Public Schools, as well as art centers, museums, and Hispanic festivals throughout the Tri-State area.
About Telpochcalli Traditional Mexican Performing Arts & Theater
Mission: To educate our audience about Mexican culture and tradition. Art is a part of history as well as history is part of Art. Founder and President: Aurelia Fernández-Marure, Executive Director: Zafiro Romero-Acevedo.
Ms. Fernández’s late uncle Don Lazarro Marure was the first to introduce folklore performances to South Yonkers. Ms. Fernández continued building the Mexican community by helping to establish the Cinco de Mayo Festival in Untermyer Park, Yonkers in 1998. Telpochcalli first participated in this festival in 1999 under the name "Los Chinelos." In 2000, the dance group was formally introduced as Telpochcalli, for the Aztec word "Youth house." Since that time, Telpochcalli has danced in many festivals throughout the New York Metropolitan area.