SUMA celebrates Latin culture with Dia de los Muertos

The Southern Utah Museum of Art’s annual Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, celebration took place on Saturday, Nov. 5, in and around the museum with a community ofrenda providing guests with the chance to contribute a loved one’s name. Observed by many Latin cultures, Dia de los Muertos is a holiday dedicated to the remembrance of friends and family members who have passed away. 

Attendees of the event got into the jovial mood that is typical of Day of the Dead celebrations by watching the live musical performance of Mariachi Fuego, decorating skull-shaped sugar cookies, making paper marigolds and seeing dances performed by southern Utah’s Bellet Folkórico Herencia Hispana and the Southern Utah University Latine Student Alliance. 

“Day of the Dead is traditionally a two-day event,” said Kat Gutierrez-Monroy, an LSA member. “The first is to remember children that passed away. Later that evening, the altars are set up, and then the second day is for adults and everyone else.”

Altars are furnished with candles, flowers — especially marigolds — and offerings of deceased loved ones’ favorite foods. The point of these gifts is to guide their spirits home through strong smells and bright sights so that they can spend one more day among the living and their family.

“Latin and Hispanic heritage is always celebrated on campus through both our organization and the Center for Diversity and Inclusion,” said Hector Cedillo-Tellez, the LSA president. “Our goal is always to amplify Latin and Hispanic voices. We just want to share some love to our community and let them know that they’re appreciated.”

The LSA is just one of many clubs within the CDI. For more information on these organizations and the work that they do to promote inclusion on and around campus, visit their website.

Story by: Jacob Horne
Editor: Nick Stein
Photos by: Jacob Horne