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Skulls to the Living, Bread to the Dead


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Table of Contents

List of Figures and Plates. Acknowledgments. Part 1 Introduction. 1. The Day of the Dead, Problems and Paradoxes. Part 2 Historical Foundations. 2. The Sweetness of Death. 3. Skulls and Skeletons. Part 3 Contemporary Transformations. 4. Tourism and the State. 5. The Poetics of Death. 6. The Day of the Dead and Halloween. Part 4 North of the Border. 7. Teaching the Day of the Dead. 8. Creativity and Community. Part 5 Conclusion. 9. Mexican Views of Death. References. Index

About the Author

STANLEY BRANDES received his PhD in Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley, where he has taught since 1974. He is the author of numerous publications on religion, society, and culture in Spain and Mexico, including, most recently, Staying Sober in Mexico City (2002).


Shortlisted for the Katharine Briggs Folklore Award 2007 "A cogent, attractively presented case study of a single festival in its diverse forms. It provides a lucid account of cultural change and a careful plotting of causes and influences." (Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, March 2009) "As Brandes explains in this small, well-written, colorfully illustrated volume, the Day of the Dead has strayed far from its origins as a Mexican version of the pan-Roman Catholic All Saints' and All Souls' days to become a spectacular international and interethnic happening ... Recommended." (CHOICE) "Penetrating look at ... how religious ritual can be shaped and transformed by culture ... to serve new purposes in a rapidly changing world." (Missiology)

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