The Catrina was made popular by a renowned journalist and political cartoonist called José Guadalupe Posada. The name Catrina means “dapper” and is a metaphorical representation of the bourgeoisie used to mock the social and political injustice during the time of Porfirio Díaz. The Catrina is a skeleton of an upper class woman dressed with bright and extravagant hats, feathers and ornaments. The image became famous when was incorporated into Diego Rivera’s mural Dream of a Sunday in Alameda Park.
The Catrina shows features of the Hispanic culture that honored those who are no longer with us. Although much of the ancient indigenous religions were lost, this tradition was kept. With the time, the Catrina has become a symbol of Mexican culture associated with the Day of the Dead celebrations, which occur during two days, November 1 and November 2, corresponding with All Saints Day and All Souls Day, respectively.
The colorful, whimsical and dramatic image is often incorporated into artistic manifestations that capture the Mexican attitude towards death. You can find the Catrina in wood carvings, “papel picado” and “calaveritas” – quartets that make fun of the death. La Catrina is mischievous, witty, charming and flirtatious character that invites us to live fully each moment.