To purchase clay catrinas by Alvaro de la Cruz, go to CLAY CATRINAS on-line shopping at www.zocalofolkart.com.
The most often asked question daily at ZOCALO is, "What are they called what is their significance?" Our collectors are referring to the "catrinas", the skeletal images dressed in finery with attitude, with almost a cackle leaving their boney mouths.
I cannot pinpoint the exact origin of the catrina for certain, but skeletal images are seen on the walls of archeology sites throughout Mexico documenting this imagery as ancient and original to Mexico (not of European influence). To fast forward to more recent and powerful influences, one must study the art of Jose Guadalupe Posada as an important clue, http://www.arts-history.mx/posada/posada.html .
The stories of how the catrina came to be such an intricate part of Mexican culture are as varied as the catrina image herself, but certainly one of the most famous renditions is by Diego Rivera in his mural, Sunday Afternoon in the Park.
Rick and I did not want to buy one catrina we wanted to buy an entire village! This was long before we even thought about having a store.
That was eleven years ago, and we have been buying from them ever since.
After forming the bodies and separately the heads, all will be fired for the first time. Then glaze is applied and a second firing is done all fueled by wood in an adobe oven.
Not seeking awards and recognition, they toil on a daily basis to fill the orders from stores in Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, Santa Fe, Austin, and for Zócalo in San Miguel de Allende.
And that's how it began with us. On our second visit to Day of the Dead we bought 40 catrinas from Ascencíon and Maximilliano, solely for our own enjoyment to be arranged like a village in the bay window of our Houston home. We were hooked!