Contemporary and Traditional Native American Hand Made
Open Daily (510) 528-9038
1412 Solano Avenue Albany CA 94706

Thursday October 27, 2016 6:30 PM - Thursday October 27, 2016 6:30 PM

Gathering Tribes’ 22nd Annual

Dia de los Muertos

Community Procession & Altar


Honoring & Remembering


Thursday, October 27, 2016

With Cuauhtli Mitotiani Mexica Danzantes

6:30 pm Meet on the Northeast Corner of Solano Avenue & The Alameda

7:15 Blessing of the Altar at Gathering Tribes

Dia de los Muertos, or Days of the Dead, is a tradition that has been practiced for thousands of years by Indigenous peoples in the Americas, primarily in Mexico and Central America.   The ceremonies, dances, processions and visits to the graveyards are all to honor the beloved departed and to feed the spirits of the dead.

For many, many years, we have had the honor and pleasure of Cuauhtli Mitotiani Mexica Danzantes lead us in the procession and bless the altar and the area around the altar.  The danzantes are led by Adriana Betti, who is not only their danzante/ceremony leader, but also an educator in Berkeley.  She has assisted untold numbers of young people in remembering their culture and Indigenous roots.  We are grateful that Adriana and her danzantes join us each year.

What to bring: Photos of your beloved departed (copies if you plan to leave them on the altar), rattles/drums/music makers for the procession, flowers/candles/food/beverage for the altar, written memorials for your beloved departed

The life that we are living is only the temporary life, and our real lives begin after death.  This is the belief among many Indigenous people from which this tradition arises.  Death is a natural part of the gift of being alive.  It is something every person will eventually experience.  Another aspect of the Dias de los Muertos is acknowledging death and how seriously we take life, as well as moving beyond the fear and apprehension of death in order to live life fully.  The folk art made for these days is oftentimes quite humorous and pokes fun of how seriously we take life and death.  When we move beyond our fear of death it can enable us to live fearlessly.

This year marks 22 years of this procession and ceremony sponsored by Gathering Tribes.  In 1993, the owner of Gathering Tribes’ father died.  The following year she created an altar to honor her father for the Dia de los Muertos in Gathering Tribes’ front window.   For several months afterward people, mostly men, came into Gathering Tribes asking about the altar, the tradition and what it meant.  Some of them were very moved.   Pennie realized that this was something that could be shared in the community, that perhaps it was something that was needed.   Gathering Tribes has organized this procession and community altar every year since then. 

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