Celebrating with the Dead

From the exhibit Exploring Objects, Fears, and the Future

Skeleton bride and groom, Mexico.

Circa 1960s. 3-29036.

This toy shows a skeletal couple for use on the holiday Day of the Dead (Día de Muertos) in Mexico, where people celebrate dead loved ones. These skeletal representations normalize the concept of death and may depict the dead themselves. By celebrating or gifting to the dead, the living are allowed to incorporate death as an aspect of life and in doing so dispel some of the fear associated with death.

Photo: David Garnick