The word “Catrín” defines an elegant and well dressed man and was a popular image in Mexico that portrayed the aristocratic classes of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It was at this time that when I showed him the Mexican painting, the great Diego Rivera, I looked at the Garbancera Skull and called it automatically: La Catrina!
Why was it called Garbancera?
“… in the bones but with French hat with ostrich feathers”
El garbancero was the one who, despite having indigenous blood, intended to be European and denied his own culture.
Naturally, Posada made fun of this type of people, it was he who created what is now known as “La Catrina”.
His hat represents who pretends to be what he is not, that is to say, “to be more than he is.” So it is exaggerated and huge, the idea was even for the skull to show this unrestrained will to pretend to have more than it actually has and had in life.
La Catrina’s first name was “La Calavera Garbancera”.
It is the title that the great Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada gave to this feminine personage with couture clothes but being already a skull.
This traditional character of Mexican culture is best remembered on November 2, “Day of the Dead”, but the rest of the days of the year are sure to be important, which you’ll probably find in most of the Art Galleries, shops or in the homes of thousands of people around the world who are lovers of traditional Mexican culture, one of the strongest and borderless cultures in existence. , usually is precisely this character that comes in the mind of anyone when they think of Mexico, many times they are accompanied by other very famous and traditional Mexican characters the “Alebrijes” Mexican mythological figures usually constituted by the minimum of three animals being one of them with feathers most of the time, they all have also related to the serpent with feathers … “Quetzalcóatl” present in the pyramid d and Tenochtitlán, and that every spring solstice is illuminated by the rays of the sun that gives it life, bringing it to the present in a magical, mystical and unique way to the world once a year.
Torrego teaches them in this video how to make an authentic makeup of Catrin with only two colors much imagination and authenticity.
La Catrina is a personage appropriate to the Mexican people and incarnated in a thousand ways, serving to make political criticism or social protest, this makeup can be used to celebrate the Day of the Dead, a costume party, a fashion show or simply to kill the will to bring to the present in a majestic way the Mexican culture or as an element of ritual and even as a mere decorative element.
And now ¿Do you know the real history of Catrina?
La Catrina is the symbol of death, in terms of cults proper, it is a memento mori (a reminder of death).
The memento mori have their origin in ancient Rome and a servant who come to the streets to take from them the titles of those who had been victorious or were superb. He is always behind them, they come constantly to remember the limitations as human beings.
According to Tertullian, the servant said to them:
Respice post te! Hominem te memento! [Look behind you! Do not forget that it’s just a man (not a God)]
It is not important, if you have been poor, conqueror, slave, man, woman, heterosexual, homosexual, tall, small, white or dark, strong or weak … we are all going to die.
It is the kind of memories of death that were used in art (especially in the Christian religious arts) in America, of course, the Mexicans gave their so peculiar and unique form that today we know the world.
In this video in which Torrego teach us to make a self-makeup of Catrín, the video was produced by Eduk and Catraca Livre (Brazil).