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Day of the Dead
When Two Worlds Meet in Oaxaca
Shawn D. Haley and Curt Fukuda
160 pages, 150 color & b/w photographs
ISBN 978-1-84545-083-0 $59.95/£47.95 Pb Published (December 2004)
eISBN 978-1-78238-608-7 eBook
“…essentially an introductory text…the richly detailed ethnographic descriptions are accompanied by oral accounts with personal quotes well supported by Fukuda’s photographic essay… a good starting book to learn about this celebration in Mexico.” · Anthropos
"This is an extremely appealing book ... the photography is absolutely outstanding ... The care taken to integrate the photos with the text and ensure the reader does not get a misleading impression from the visuals is remarkable. The book really is a model of how to use professional quality visual material to enrich an ethnographic account rather than simply to delight the eye." · John Gledhill, University of Manchester
The Day of the Dead is the most important annual celebration in Oaxaca, Mexico. Skillfully combining textual information and photographic imagery, this book begins with a discussion of the people of Oaxaca, their way of life, and their way of looking at the world. It then takes the reader through the celebration from the preparations that can begin months in advance through to the private gatherings in homes and finally to the cemetery where the villagers celebrate together — both the living and the dead. The voices in the book are of those people who have participated in the Day of the Dead for as long as they can remember. There are no ghosts here. Only the souls of loved ones who have gone to the Village of the Dead and who are allowed to return once a year to be with their family. Very readable and beautifully illustrated, this book provides an extensive discussion of the people of Oaxaca, their way of life and their beliefs, which make the Day of the Dead logical and easily comprehensible.
Shawn D. Haley is an anthropologist and archaeologist who specializes in Latin American and Urban anthropology. He has spent much of the past 7 years in the villages around Oaxaca, Mexico, learning about the Day of the Dead. It has been said of him that he speaks with "... the heart of a Zapotec," the dominant local indigenous group.
Curt Fukuda is a writer and artist, who lives in Mountain View, California. He has exhibited his work internationally and participated in the Americanos! project for the Smithsonian Museum. Curt has been traveling regularly to Oaxaca, Mexico since 1989.