Whittier College News Release

For Immediate Release - October 20, 1998
Media Contact
Reference: 98/99: 29


Whittier College's third annual campus-wide celebration of the traditional Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos, or "Day of the Dead" will take place on Sunday, November 1, in the upper quad near Wardman Art Center, beginning at 5 p.m. This year, Aztec dancers, the Women of the Corn performers, an Indonesian death ritual and a "calling of the spirits" will precede the gorgeous and wild costumed procession that is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m.

Based on customs of the Mexicas, inhabitants of what is now Mexico City, offerings of food and other supplies are made to help the departed make the after-death journey through the nine underground passages easier. Successful passage leads to their final resting place.

Sponsored by the art department in conjunction with the department of modern languages and several student organizations, the procession will feature masked and unmasked adults and children, who will parade through the campus back to Wardman Art Center, where a student-constructed altar awaits the gifts of participants. Participants and observers are invited to place photos of deceased loved ones and samples of their favorite foods at the altar.

Inside Wardman, visitors will find an exhibition of traditional Day of the Dead objects as well as educational materials about the event. In keeping with the tradition of previous years, there will be three altars. One will be traditional, while the other two will honor public figures who have died in the past year.

Posters and prints created by the students of La La Graphics and featuring art based on the Day of the Dead will be for sale in the art building. La La Graphics is an independent, alternative press run by student artists at Whittier and is a joint effort of the printmaking classes and Poskovic. The company integrates the fine art of making, publishing and distributing limited editions of prints and artists' books with the teaching of printmaking and computer graphics. The original works printed by La La Graphics are hand signed, numbered and stamped. Proceeds of the sale will go toward the printmaking and computer arts programs at the college.

After the procession, the band Viva Mapache will perform from 8:30-10 p.m. The celebration is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Endi Poskovic, assistant professor of art, at (562) 907-4200, ext. 4687, or David Sloan, assistant professor of art, at (562)907-4200, ext. 4686.

Located 18 miles east of Los Angeles, Whittier College is an independent, four-year college offering traditional liberal arts majors and strong pre-professional programs taught in the context of the liberal arts. Whittier Law School, which is accredited by the American Bar Association and the Association of American Law Schools, is located on a separate campus in Costa Mesa.


Whittier College Office of Communications
13406 Philadelphia P.O. Box 634 Whittier, CA 90608-0634
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