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Catrina Origin

Do you know the origin of the catrina? It is not of pre-Hispanic or religious origin, it comes from a mixture of ideas and art.

It all began in 1912, when José Guadalupe Posada Aguilar, a Mexican engraver, illustrator and caricaturist, famous for his drawings of folkloric scenes, folkloric and socio-political criticism, illustrated for the first time what in the future would be the famous catrina.


He wrote what was called "literary skulls", which are popular words in the form of rhymes written in a humorous, funny, satirical and critical way, where reference is made to some quality or defect of a character or issues of general interest or that are fashionable, irreverently and with a light writing.

So I wrote these "Calaveras Literarias" in the newspapers, generally on the eve of the Day of the Dead, which were accompanied by a drawing of a skull dressed in an ostentatious, elegant and pretentious way, which represented the society of that time, which pretended to have more than what it really had, and that is why even though the clothes were extremely elegant, its body was a skeleton, in reference to the fact that people did not have money to eat (that is why they were skulls, because they did not eat), but they wore ostentatious clothes.


The name of these skull illustrations was "calaveras garbanceras", this name was given as a criticism to those who were known precisely as "garbanceros", that is, who worked in the town harvesting chickpeas, who were poor, denied their roots, their culture and pretended to be rich and of European blood.


Years later in 1947, Diego Rivera painted his famous mural called "Sueño de una tarde dominical en Alameda Central", which uses the image of Guadalupe Posada and changes it a little to adjust it to his style and also changes the name from "Garbancera" to "Catrina".


The Catrina has evolved a lot since the time of Posadas, nowadays the Catrina represents an entity full of status, grace and elegance.


Every year she is represented countless times in movies, paintings, songs, etc. She is one of the most beautiful representations of Mexican traditions and one of the most outstanding internationally.


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