Tuesday, November 2, 2010

DAY OF THE DEAD : "Ofrenda" for Poe

     My friend Christine, the Art teacher, did all sorts of Day of the Dead decorating all over campus, and was kind enough to give us all the makings for an ofrenda for Edgar Allan Poe, complete with (plastic) skeletal remains.  She and her students are responsible for making all the cool stuff.  I assembled it on top of our graphic novels section.
Mr. Poe

      "Ofrendas are an essential part of the Day of the Dead celebrations. The word "ofrenda" means offering in Spanish. They are also called altares or altars, but they are not for worshiping.                
      Ofrendas are set up to remember and honor the memory of ancestors."
"Nevermore"
"Lenore" painted on the mysteriously squished side of his skull

I love the colorful tissue-paper flower garland
     When she was putting up all the decorations late Friday evening, she was on a ladder outside one of the classrooms and the ladder collapsed.  She felt into the wall and then dropped to the ground.  Her ankle is pretty f***ed up, she's sore all over, but at least we don't have to make an altar dedicated to HER memory.
     (I don't know why it is that we school employees tend to flaunt safety so much.  I don't even HAVE a ladder in the library, so I end up balancing precariously on book carts, or even stacking a little rolling library stool on top of a chair on top of a table to reach the higher bulletin boards.  We received a flyer by email a few weeks ago with the slogan, "A chair is not a ladder!" showing how to use a stepladder correctly to reach things, and reminding us to be very careful.  I tacked it to the wall in the back room and ignore it every day.)

Skulls, pictures of the deceased, offerings of food, candy, and drinking water, even flowers and ravens!
      She also did an altar dedicated to Frida Kahlo in the main office, and drew a unibrow on it.  Awesome, right?  And did you notice Mr. Poe has a mustache?  It's amazing it survived even after his skin and organs rotted away.  That is a seriously tough mustache.
      Mr. Poe is dressed in my own clothes, and it felt weird shoving his stiff, awkward limbs into my shirt and pants.  It felt sort of like dressing a child or an old person.  He was so uncooperative I had to pop his hands off and re-attach them after I got the sleeves on.  (I don't think you're allowed to do that with kids or old people.)

1 comment:

  1. While I was reading this I was thinking: Hmm...Mr. K. must not have gotten the memo - but then you did hang out with another Librarian who used chairs for ladders. Her last name is not too far from yours on the alphabetic scale..."G"ee who could that be. Glad you did not have to design a memorial for your friend...being artsy is dangerous...Fortunately, I only have a paper cut to show for my creativity today.

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