Alebrijes display celebrates day of the dead, Oaxacan culture in New York

Two large Mexican folk art sculptures known as alebrijes were installed in New York as part of a 12-day celebration of Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) and a month-long promotion from Oaxaca to the United States.

A dragon and a feathered jaguar, respectively over three and four meters tall, currently adorn the central plaza of Rockefeller Center in midtown Manhattan.

Made by Oaxacan artisans Jacobo and María Angeles, the colorful and fantastical sculptures are a major highlight of “Mexico Week: Día de Muertos at Rockefeller Center”, a free event that started last Friday and will run until November 2.

Of them catrinas, female skeletons commonly associated with the Day of the Dead, are also on display in the famous New York landmark. The statue of the Greek titan Atlas in the central plaza will be converted into a flower installation later this week, and a day of the dead ofrenda, or altar, honoring the victims of COVID-19 will be set up.

In addition, an open-air market, or tianguis, the sale of Mexican crafts, food and drink will take place from Friday to next Wednesday.

The Governor of Oaxaca, Alejandro Murat, was in New York last Friday to attend the inauguration of the Day of the Dead festival and to launch the “Month of Oaxaca in the United States”, an event which celebrates the art, the culture and traditions of the southern state.

“… Oaxaca has a goal that we like to sum up in one sentence: we want more Oaxaca in the world and more people in Oaxaca. Being here at Rockefeller Center in New York unveiling these alebrijes and by starting this festival of economic and cultural promotion, we know that we are achieving this goal, ”he said.

“In Oaxaca, everything is done with the soul because, with us, the spirits dance, paint, cook and write”, declared the governor.

Mexican Ambassador to the United States Esteban Moctezuma spoke about Oaxaca’s great natural and cultural beauty, while Rockefeller Center CEO EB Kelly thanked the government of Oaxaca and the Mexican Consulate in New York for making the Day of the Dead event possible.

With reports of El Economista and Hyperallergic

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