La Catrina:Origin & History

La Catrina, also known as "La Calavera Catrina" or simply "Catrina", is an iconic icon of Mexican culture, particularly associated with the celebration of Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. This elegant, skeleton-disguised figure has a rich and complex history dating back to Mexico's post-revolutionary period. In this article, we will explore in detail the origin and history of Catrina.

The Origins of La Catrina:

La Catrina was created by Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada in the early 20th century. José Guadalupe Posada (1852-1913) was a prolific illustrator and printmaker who played an important role in creating satirical and caricatured images during Mexico's post-revolutionary period.

The “Calavera Garbancera”:

The original image of La Catrina was created by Posada under the name "Calavera Garbancera". This caricature depicts a skeletal woman dressed in an elegant outfit, wearing a high hat and adorned with feathers. The "Calavera Garbancera" was a social satire that aimed to criticize the upper Mexican social class of the time, who sought to adopt a European lifestyle while denying their indigenous roots. The term "garbancero" was a derogatory term used to describe those who adopted a European lifestyle while rejecting their indigenous origins.

Evolution towards La Catrina:

The image of the "Calavera Garbancera" evolved into what we know today as La Catrina. This transformation was largely due to the famous Mexican muralist Diego Rivera. Rivera painted a version of La Catrina in his famous mural "Sueño de una Tarde Dominical en la Alameda Central" (The Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Central Park), completed in 1947. This work of art popularized the image of La Catrina and anchored it deeply in Mexican culture.

Cultural Significance:

La Catrina has become one of the most recognizable symbols of Mexican culture and is closely associated with the celebration of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). It embodies the Mexican notion of death as an inevitable part of life and celebrates the memory of the deceased in a colorful and festive way.

Popular Use:

La Catrina is often represented in Dia de los Muertos parades, in the form of masks, costumes and decorative figurines. She has also become a source of inspiration for many Mexican and foreign artists, and her image has been used in artwork, sculptures, tattoos and even fashion works.

In conclusion, La Catrina is an iconic cultural figure who embodies the essence of Mexico's Dia de los Muertos celebration. Its origin dates back to satirical social criticism, but it has become a symbol of the acceptance of death as an integral part of life and the celebration of the memory of the deceased in Mexican culture.

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