Angels and Skulls: Festive paper decorations from Mexico

Museum of Ethnography (5 March - 31 December 2016)
Mexico is a country of festivities. Throughout the year there are many, rich and varied religious and state celebrations as a change from work days.


Since pre-Columbian times, the ritual scenarios of feasts have been an integral - generally cheerful - part of social life with parades, music, dances, props, festive costumes and decorations.   
In 1521 Spain conquered the Aztecs, and founded the overseas New Spain - today's Mexico. But even 500 years later hidden traces of the ancient Mesoamerican beliefs can still be found in the Mexican Catholic ceremonies. Mexico today can be characterised by a very strong, distinctive multiculture fused in its feasts, that has been able to preserve its original world-view in its roots. 

One of the exemplary characteristics of Mexican folk art is that originally imported themes, objects, techniques and materials are fully adapted to its own visual world, producing very distinctive, even typically Mexican creations. The anonymous graphic designers can practically be regarded as folk artists. Most of the paper decorations exhibited here have a very strong Mexican national character, and give a good idea of the ludic customs of the Mexicans. This can be seen in the colouring of the objects, the figures and in their appearance that can be linked to the Catholic and the unique mesticized beliefs. 

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