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Phil Douglis | profile | all galleries >> Galleries >> Gallery Thirty One: Interpreting cultural festivals -- Mexico’s Day of the Dead tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Gallery Thirty One: Interpreting cultural festivals -- Mexico’s Day of the Dead

As viewers of this cyberbook know, I place great emphasis on conveying ideas through pictures that express basic human values. (See Gallery Three) One of the most productive ways to build human values into your travel imagery is to interpret aspects of holidays and festivals that define the nature of entire cultures.

In this Gallery, I offer twenty examples of images made of just such a culturally defining event. They are my interpretations of Dia de los Muertos – The Day of the Dead. All of them were made in the towns of Guanajuato, Delores Hidalgo, and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, in the fall of 2005. In celebrating the reunion of dead relatives with their families, Mexicans remember and rejoice, rather than mourn. This festive holiday reveals much about a people, its beliefs, its fears, and its dreams. The Day of the Dead is, in essence, a festival celebrating one of the most basic of all human values – the concept of the human spirit as it relates to an afterlife. It reaches far back into Mexican history, back to the time of the Aztecs, who believed that the spirits of their dead would return as hummingbirds and butterflies. It has evolved into a holiday of remembrance – a festive link between those who live, and their loved ones who have died.

I’ve selected most of these images from my archive of digital travel articles posted at:

This gallery is presented in "blog" style. A large thumbnail is displayed for each image, along with a detailed caption explaining how I intended to express my ideas. If you click on the large thumbnail, you can see it in its full size, as well as leave comments and read the comments of others. I hope you will be able to participate in the dialogue. I welcome your comments, suggestions, ideas, and questions, and will be delighted to respond.