What is Día de los Muertos? Where did it come from, what are its roots? How do we celebrate it here in the United States ? Día los Muertos, or Days of the Dead, is a significant and widely celebrated holiday in Mexico , Latin America, and the Southwestern part of the U.S. To many Mexicans, death is not a subject to be feared, ignored, or divorced from the living. One cannot celebrate life without also celebrating death, especially of those who have gone before.

On October 14th at 2 p.m. at the Pinal County Historical Museum at 715 S. Main St. in Florence ,Elena Días Björquist will use slides to trace the origins of the Mexican festival “The Day of the Dead” and describes the traditional elements associated with the holiday including foods, folk crafts and altars. Audience will be introduced to artist, Jose Guadalupe Posada, and the etchings and lithographs that are still popular in Mexico . They will also learn about the calaveras, or scathing satirical poems, he composed that depicted social and political personalities as skeletons.

Elena Díaz Björkquist is the author of a collection of short stories about Morenci , Arizona , entitled Suffer Smoke, and a collection of young adult stories, Water from the Moon. She is co-editor of an anthology, Sowing the Seeds, una cosecha de recuerdos. Elena is also a Chautauqua performer, an artist, and a historian. She is a scholar and research affiliate with SIROW at the University of Arizona.

This event is underwritten by a grant from the Arizona Humanities Council and is the first in the museum 2012-2013 Speakers Series. For more information, call 520-868-4382.