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This week at El Colegio

The Nayarit House Group in the MIA collection illustrates ancient Mexican beliefs about life and death. It’s believed that the upper level of the ceramic house model is the realm of the living and the lower level that of the dead. The barrier between the two levels is very narrow, providing the living and the dead the opportunity to interact through shared activities such as conversation and eating. You can learn more about the sculpture here.

Some of the El Colegio students’ ofrendas will also have two levels. According to the University of Veracruz article students read at the outset of the Ofrenda project, many traditional altars include two levels, representing sky and earth.

House Group
47.2.37
Artist Unknown (Nayarit)
Mexico, Central America
200 B.C.-400 A.D.
Ceramic, pigment

El Colegio student artists took turns measuring and cutting pink styrofoam strips to be used in creating the levels inside their crates. Styrofoam was chosen because it was light and less messy to cut. Nonetheless, little specks of pink lodged themselves in the cutters‘ hair.In addition to making the final preparations of the crates, students wrote artists’ statements that explain their ofrendas. With the crates and concepts complete, the artwork will begin!IMG_1757