news releases

2005.10.17 > For Immediate Release
contact: Teresa Gleason - University Affairs
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: tmgleason@mail.unomaha.edu

UNO to Celebrate Day of the Dead Nov. 2; Workshop to Create Altar Oct. 26

Omaha - The Office of Latino/Latin American Studies (OLLAS) at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) will celebrate the Day of the Dead Wednesday, Nov. 2.  The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the UNO Art Gallery.

The Day of the Dead tradition, later mixed with Catholic rituals, is celebrated throughout the Americas, said Lourdes Gouveia, OLLAS director and professor of sociology at UNO.  In Mexico and Central America, people build elaborate altars in honor of a particular person or group.  They then fill the altars with items that the honored person or group enjoyed in life.

The 2005 OLLAS altar will honor the Latino/a victims of Hurricane Katrina, Gouveia said.  It will feature food, candy, beverages and other items that were used and enjoyed by those the altar honors.

On Wednesday, Oct. 26, OLLAS will host an ofrenda workshop to install the altar at 5 p.m. in the UNO Art Gallery.  "Ofrenda" is the Spanish word for "offering."  The workshop, which is free and open to the public, will be facilitated by Martin G. Ramirez Correa.  Correa has practiced traditional Mexican folk arts for the past two decades.  His current U.S. tour includes an installation in Los Angeles and working with Omaha Public Schools art departments.  He is an artist-in-residence with Las Artes, a Chicano/a cultural arts organization.  Participants are encouraged to bring an X-Acto knife or scissors to the workshop.

The Nov. 2 event also will feature Day of the Dead bread from South Omaha and hot chocolate prepared with Mexican ingredients by Maria Arbelaez, associate professor of history and a member of the OLLAS faculty at UNO.

At noon, OLLAS faculty will give a presentation on the history and contemporary manifestation of this pre-colonial tradition across the Americas.

The UNO Art Gallery is located on the first floor of the Weber Fine Arts Building on the west end of campus.  Funding for both events is provided in part by the U.S. Department of Education. 

For more information, contact Lucy Garza, OLLAS project coordinator, at (402) 554-3835 or lgarza@mail.unomaha.edu.

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