ponedjeljak, 4. studenoga 2013.

The History Behind Sugar Skull Face Painting: Dia de los Muertos

Hello readers,

hope you all had a wonderful October! 

I had an amaaaaazing photoshooting with the the best team ever: my lovely photographer Nadja Berberovic Photography, the very talented make-up artist Naida Make up and Artwork and the kindest hairstylist I have ever met Ensar " Hair with charcter ". I always enjoy working with them. Such talented people!



Did you recognize me? You like it?


EntMag has published our Dia de los Muertos editorial - so I decided to share with you the interesting article: The history behind the sugar skull face painting...



Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a Mexican holiday that has been celebrated in Mexico for centuries, and has spread to other parts of Latin America as well as the United States and Europe. It is believed that on the night of October 31, the gates of heaven are opened and the souls of angelitos (children who have passed) roam the earth for the day of November 1. Then, on November 2 the gates open once again and the souls of adults who have died visit as well.


Photo/retouch: Nađa Berberović




Petticoat: Lolim Pop - Nermina Trbonja
Corset: What Katie Did http://www.whatkatiedid.com/ 
Shoes: Metaphysika / Irregular Choice 


This holiday is celebrated in various ways according to location. Many celebrations involve going to the graves of passed loved ones, setting up altars (at home and at the graves), and sharing memories of those who have died. The altars can be decorated with photos,
favorite items of the dead, food such as pan de muertos, flowers, and decorated sugar skulls. People often spend the day cleaning and decorating the grave, having meals together, and remembering loved ones. The skull is a commonly recognized symbol of the holiday--not just the intricately decorated sugar skull we all think of today, but traditional skulls too. They can be made of chocolate, sugar, or even worn in mask form. While this sounds morbid to some, it is actually all done with a beautiful lightheartedness, with bright colors and a sense of positivity that is unique to the holiday.


It is from this skull tradition that the increasingly popular sugar skull face painting originated. Celebrators wearing masks during the holiday has evolved and grown into actually painting their own faces. It is seen as a chance to overcome your fear of death, and get in touch with a darker side of yourself. This has often been the role of masks throughout history in every culture around the world--if your real face is hidden, you become a different version of yourself not normally seen. All types of skulls have long been an element used in art, especially tattooing, and the sugar skull is growing in popularity as a tattoo motif as well. Artists explore the meaning of it while the designs become more and more intricate and beautiful.


Many people object to the mainstream, widespread use of sugar skull motifs. They see it as cultural appropriation of something that is part of a sacred holiday, and if you don't belong to the culture or celebrate the holiday then you shouldn't participate. As face painters, this is not a view we quite agree with. While we firmly believe that use of motifs from other cultures should be done with a healthy dose of respect and knowledge of the history of the symbols, we do not think that because we aren't of Mexican heritage that we cannot explore the culture and art. Attitudes like this just promote ignorance and intolerance--education and knowledge are the keys to tolerance. Understanding the traditions of other cultures allows us to connect to others on a human level...

Hope we haven't scared you off? Let me know about your thoughts!? Do you like it?


Lots of love,

Idda van Munster & team



Broj komentara: 20:

  1. Im very impressed, as mexican and an admirer of your talent and beauty i feel honered, i think as you just said at the end, it is a way to connect ourselves as human beings, im so happy to see you now know a little bit more about our traditions here, i actually cooked pan de muerto for my grandparents altar, i loved trying for the very first time by myself! i hope someday you visit my country and i would love to attend one of your worshops, besos from Mexico!

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  2. Sí, privadamente como dice arriba, quería bajarme alguna foto, no, para nada en especial, me parecen bonitas....graciasss

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  3. Amazing, wonderful photos! Really stunning.

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  4. Awesome! I did a Día de los Muertos shoot two years ago; it was so much fun. I love the bright colors on yours. Your outfit reminds me of my first shoot outfit:

    http://flyingpurplehipposcom.blogspot.com/2013/10/happy-muertos-halloween.html

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  5. Beautiful photos and I always love your styling! I live in Tucson, Arizona in the desert Southwest and each year our town has a beautiful All Souls procession for Dios de la Muerte where we remember those who have passed, dress up as calavera and enjoy some beautiful art performances. Touching and a beautiful time of unity for our community!

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  6. wow I love the photographs of the sugar skulls. Very beautiful and elegant work.

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  7. The History Behind Sugar Skull Face Painting: Dia de los Muertos ... iskullsroses.blogspot.com

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  9. Honestly, as long as you aren't blatantly racist to Mexicans and don't wear it to Halloween activities, but to an actual cultural event, I'm fine with it :)

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  10. well, nice story but it is cultural appropriation and your argument is the typical dominant culture argument. Your history is incorrect.

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