Death is a major theme in modern and indigenous Mexican culture. In the last century, the worship of Santa Muerte (Holy Death) has reached cult status. Some claim she is a modern reincarnation of the Aztec death goddess Mictecacihuatl, while others understand her image to be an interpretation of La Virgen de Guadalupe, an appearance of the Virgin Mary that has become a cultural icon in Mexico. One thing is certain, Santa Muerte’s history is as mysterious as it is complicated, and all who venerate her have their own understanding and relationship with “La Santisima”. Maria Del Carmen Rivas, a Brooklyn-born historian, educator, and death artist, facilitates an introduction to, and conversation around, Mexican death culture and the cult of Santa Muerte.
This program is presented as part of a new Death Education series at Green-Wood, Death & Us. Death is the great universal, but the ways in which the dead are grieved and memorialized vary across racial, cultural, and economic divides in the United States. This series brings together a myriad of voices—from historians and preservationists to activists and funeral practitioners—to explore how diverse communities mourn and commemorate the departed from our nation’s founding to today.
Free. A Zoom link will be in your confirmation email upon registration.