Celebration brings community together with food, music

By Jaime De Haro

Malinalli Superfoods embraced Dia de los Muertos by welcoming the community and honoring those who have passed to celebrate.

On Sunday, Malinalli Superfoods and Plantbased Aztlan hosted a Día de los Muertos celebration in East Los Angeles. 

People had access to a variety of free activities and workshops. 

Folks were able to participate in altar making, storytelling and tissue paper flower making.

The storytelling and tissue paper flower making segment was hosted by Kalli Tecpatl. 

In addition, vendors were also present selling vegan food, jewelry and art. 

Special activities such as tarot card readings and face paintings were also available at a nominal fee.                         

“I believe art plays a very essential role at events like these because… watching and looking at it brings out so many of the viewer’s emotions… (Art) allows for connections to be made,” said Edison Roman, a tattoo artist from the Central Valley.

Over the course of the event, there was live music and a DJ. This brought people together as they danced and cheered on local artists. 

Azteca dancers performed a dance around an altar that was placed in the center of the event. 

They wore headpieces with vibrant colored feathers and varied designs as part of their regalia. They also wore rattling leg pieces called chachayotes.

 The dancers used the chachayotes to create a beat and song to the drums being played. 

The altar was decorated with marigold flowers, fabrics with vibrant designs and cultural artifacts. 

Scents of burning sage were also notable from the altar and throughout the area around it. 

Many people were dressed in cultural attire and accessories to show their indigenous heritage and respect to those who are no longer physically here with them. 

“Día de los Muertos is an important event because in our culture, death is not a bad thing… In November, people start to celebrate the people who have passed on…Death is celebrated, recognized, commemorated throughout our history to now. We just innovated new ways of doing it and that’s why we call it Día de los Muertos,” said Zero, an organizer with Malinalli Superfoods. 

Malinalli Superfoods is a family-based group of event organizers that believe in health, nutrition and community.

Zero said community can come together at events like these, “by having patience with each other. What destroys community is not having the patience to understand that not everybody is on the same level, not everybody can contribute like others. “Maybe some contribute more than others… We can’t be frustrated with the contribution that everyone [is able to] make. But if everyone tries to contribute to whatever function that we decide to do as a community, that community can always exist.” 

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