4th day in Erongaricuaro/Tzintzuntzan (Hummingbird in P'urepechan)
These shots start with the plaza in Erongaricuaro and end with the straw sculpture of Mario Lopez Torrez. In between are shots of the ofrenda competition by high school students, the Eronga furniture business, mask making by the Horta family, P'urepechan temples currently being rebuilt, and the preparations for All Souls Night and Day of the Dead in the cemetery at Tzintzuntzan (take off the "t's" to pronounce it and you'll be very close to correct).
The artists are all small businesses trying to make a living off their craft by selling to locals as well as tourists. The Eronga furniture factory is run by an American couple from Tucson who employ the people you see working. All these folks work magic with clay, straw, wood and paint, but it appeals to a narrow market. I did my best to support them!
The ofrendas are gorgeous of course, but what is really amazing is the amount of community effort that goes into building these altars to loved ones. It is so different from the cemeteries here that it brought tears to my eyes thinking about my neglected ancestors. And the shots of the cemetery were of works in process since everyone had til midnite on the 2nd to get things finished for visiting spirits! Ironically, these places for the dead were intensely alive.