calavera coloring pages – The word calavera (or calaverita in lowercase) means “skull” in Spanish, but the term is also used to refer to a type of poetry written and published mainly around the season of Day of the Dead.
The word calavera is generally used playfully: in the different contexts it is used, it does not have a gloomy or gruesome connotation. Calaveras remind us of the nature of mortal life, that our time on this Earth is limited, and it is acceptable (and perhaps even desirable) to play on and make fun of the idea of death.
Calaveras de Azucar The calavera de azucar is a skull made of sugar used to decorate the altar of the Day of the Dead. They are often decorated with colorful layers and the name of the living person is written on the top, and are given as a gift to that person.
Making sugar skulls is a popular Day of the Dead activity, and sugar skull costumes are becoming more common during Halloween celebrations north of the border (approach this with caution, as some consider this an act of cultural service).
La Calavera Catrina The most famous calavera is La Calavera Catrina, a character created by Jose Guadalupe Posada (1852-1913), a sculptor from Aguascalientes who made a political statement depicting the Mexican upper class as a well-dressed framework. La Calavera Catrina was originally described by Posada as a skeleton wearing a large hat with flowers, she is now often depicted wearing a boa and lavish clothing as the upper class woman of those days would wear.
This character is allegedly based on Carmen Romero Rubio, wife of president Porfirio Diaz, and showing the president’s wife as a skeleton is a way of showing that behind all the trappings of an upscale lifestyle, we are all the same underneath, and we will all meet the same ends eventually. .
The Calavera Catrina, often called “Catrina” or “La Catrina” is a very popular subject in Mexican folk art and you will find many depictions of her in various media.
Calaveras Literature The term calavera can also refer to a type of poetry. They are derisive verses that make fun of the living politicians or other prominent citizens of the country or can be written about friends and loved ones. This amusing literary tradition flourished in the 19th century, and most likely got its name from being published in newspapers and broadside along with depictions of skulls and skeletons such as La Calavera Catrina.
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