Smithsonian Latino Center

Literary Calaveras

Smithsonian Latino Center, Hollywood Forever Collections
Smithsonian Latino Center, Hollywood Forever Collections

Calaveras, yes literally translate into skulls. There is also a tradition during the Día de los muertos where literary Calaveras began to appear in the second half of the nineteeth century. Literary Calaveras are satirical poems that critique or poke fun of the living individuals many time political figures or other in the public eye. During this time of literary in Mexico Calavera can be written among friends and family, some even are printed in the newspapers all in the spirit of fun, but beware because they point out one of your short comings.

For instance the poem generously provided by writer Luis Topiltzin playfully describes our group of friends during the season of Día de los Muertos in 2012.

Credit: José Guadalupe Posada

Written by Luis Topiltzin Dominguez Burton, with much pride born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico.