Mexico, the pre-Hispanic tradition which held that the spirits
of the departed lingered in a place of rest waiting for the
day when they would return to visit their families, melded with
the Christian celebration of All Souls Day to become “Dia de
los Muertos.” This holiday honors the departed, for they are
thought to be close by and are celebrated with set meals, candles,
flowers, specially baked breads - all at the grave site.
skeletal figures commonly associated with this celebration are
derived from early twentieth century drawings by Jose Guadalupe
Posada in which he mocked human existence and the tragic destiny
of man. Posada's skeletons portrayed heroes, politicians, revoultionary
leaders and the common man. Seen today in festivals and parades,
the calaveras have taken the form of paper mache and ceramic
have chosen to celebrate the imagery of The Day of the Dead
with a life size bronze couple who are performing their last
dance together; hence the title, The Last Tango."