September 16, 2014
Children in Mexico grow up playing with skeleton toys like this one. The toys teach them about mortality, but also make sure their first impressions of death are cheerful. Craftsmen have made toys specifically for the Day of the Dead since at least the mid-1800s. Folk artist Gumercindo España Oliveres, known as Don Chinda, made this toy, as well as the other toys on display in our current exhibit, Life After Death: The Day of the Dead in Mexico. He has been making toys with the help of his wife, children, and grandchildren for over 40 years in Santa Cruz de Juventino Rosas, Guanajuato. His toys often have some element of movement. As this one rolls forward, the skeleton on the cart sits up.