Mikailuitl is the name for our traditional honoring of the passing of life from physical to essence. In our ancestral traditions, we do not only honor people who have passed away, but all natural life that makes up the great mystery of the world and universe. This is a cultural ceremony that helps teach our children about the natural laws of life as understood by our ancestors.
In Mexico, we call these days los Dias de Los Muertos. Our families commemorate these days in several ways and through different traditions in the various regions and cultures of Mexico and Aztlan. Several of our families at Anahuacalmecac continue to honor these days through personal customs and community events. We want to honor these traditions and open a space for us to remember our family, our ancestors and our ways – together.
Mikailuitl can be a very powerful healing ceremony as it can help us remember that we are not alone when we grieve. This year we will honor youth and young adults who have passed away unexpectedly through war, violence or other non-natural causes. The central altar will be dedicated to the offerings made in their memory.
Our late elder and cultural guide, Tata Cuaxtle, has taught us that the customs in his town of Copalillo, Guerrero, Mexico, include more than we typically think of in Chicano Dia de los Muertos events. Whereas, Chicanos tend to commemorate the Days of the Dead through art and festivals, indigenous Mexican traditions are deeply rooted in the cycles of community and agriculture.
Corn is the foundation of our ancestral Azteca culture. Other indigenous cultures in Mexico and in Aztlan also share corn as the source of cultural teachings. Its cycle of life reminds us on a yearly basis who we are and how we should live to keep community and family harmony.
Today, in Los Angeles, and even most Native reservations in the U.S., we do not sustain our community economically solely through agriculture as before. Yet, our culture and our ceremonies survive to remind us of who we are and who we should become. This is the way we honor Micailhuitl at Xinaxcalmecac.
Tata Cuaxtle has also taught us that after the first ceremony for loved ones is held at the altars in the homes of every family in town, altars are raised for those that have passed away violently or by accident outside of the house. In this way we will honor our cultural heroes and heroines and all those youth we have lost due to accidents, war or other unnatural causes.
Mikailuitl at Semillas Anahuacalmecac
The students and families of Semillas Community Schools, are the community we call on to commemorate the Mikailuitl. Our ceremony is a cultural gathering of community to honor those who have died and to teach our children how to learn from death. This is a space and time for parents to tell our children stories about a family member, a special hero or heroine or just about nature and life.
The Mikailuitl is a time for parents to learn from other parents and share customs and traditions your family practiced or still practice. This is a time to listen to the elders in your family, and to help them remember what they did when they were little so that our traditions remain strong in the next generation. This way our children will be better prepared to deal with the difficulties of life and the realities we share with all of humanity.
To honor the youth and others who have died as a result of genocide, fratricide our schools have honored each known site of a homicide along or near the Huntington Drive corridor for the past several years. While our youth are divided in life, we are all united in death. Our offerings and blessings call on our barrios to unite for the love of our next generation through community, consciousness, and culture.
ALL STUDENTS DANCE.
ALL PARENTS WHO ARE TRADITIONAL DANCERS ARE WELCOME TO DANCE.
HONOR YOUTH WHO HAVE DIED THROUGH ACCIDENT, WAR OR VIOLENCE IN THE CENTRAL ALTAR BY BRINGING A SMALL PICTURE AND AN OFFERING TO HONOR THEIR MEMORY.
ARRIVE EARLY TO HELP WITH THE ALTARS.
HELP KEEP THE AREA CLEAN.
HELP KEEP THE KIDS SAFE AT ALL TIMES BY KEEPING A CLOSE EYE ON THEM WHILE THEY WAIT.
Day of the Dead: A Holiday of Indigenous Resistance
NOVEMBER 02, 2016
Day of the Dead isn't just a Latin American tradition celebrating loved ones who have died -- it's also a day rooted in Indigenous resistance.