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Catrinas explained for Nov 2 event at the Hanford Mall

Hanford Dia de Los Muertos is an event that HMTC puts on. Originally intended to be a fundraiser for the theater company, it has become a labor of love for the community. This year it will take place at the Hanford Mall on November 2 at 4pm.

One of the exhibits at this HMTC event will be the Catrinas. Catrinas are skeletons that wear dapper clothing and faces resembling sugar skulls. In fact, there are children who dress like this icon on Halloween.

Jose Guadalupe Posada is the creator of La Catrina. It was a commentary on the women in Mexico who were favoring European styles of dress over more comfortable traditional wear. Posada began his career as a political cartoonist 1871. He contributed to newspapers, chapbooks (booklets), and posters. It is estimated that he created 20,000 plus images in his career.

Posada used lithography with most of his work. Lithography was invented around 1796 in Germany by an otherwise unknown Bavarian playwright, Alois Senefelder, who accidentally discovered that he could duplicate his scripts by writing them in greasy crayon on slabs of limestone and then printing them with rolled-on ink in unlimited quantities.

In 1947, the famous Muralist and painter Diego Rivera, included La Catrina image in his painting. From this painting I believe the skeleton images from Posada grew in used for El Día de los Muertos.

I, myself, enjoy dressing skeletons and making 1800’s European hats for the Catrinas we exhibit at our event. There will be more than a dozen available for viewing.

Hope to see you there on November 2 starting at 4pm at the Hanford Mall.

Silvia Gonzalez Scherer, Executive Artistic Director of Hanford Multicultural Theater Company

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