Tzintzuntzan is a large traditional town with a strong handicraft tradition. The handicraft market, archeological sites and the oldest chapel in the region make it an important place to visit. The Day of the Dead there is presented in this gallery.
Bob Freund 7/7/2005 For more information contact:

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Tzintzuntzan means the Place of the Hummingbirds. When the Spanish conquistadores arrived it was the capital of the Purepecha empire, with over 40000 people living there. There are archeological sites located in the town and one the earliest chapels in Michoacan. Each time I visit the town I like it more. It is a quiet place with a strong handicrafts foundation in working both wood and reeds. The handicrafts market in the town is a block from the square. Along the road you will also find a large assortment of goods from nearby villages.

During the Day of the Dead in November 2002 the cemetery on both sides of the road was illuminated with candles. There were many women wearing the delantal characteristic of the Purepecha woman in the region. There were also traditional dances and festivities.

During our walk through the cemetery we met a man who was there to ask his younger brother for his pardon. Apparently he was driving the car when they had a tragic accident. His family had blamed him for the death of the younger brother (11) and he was guilt-ridden because of it. He had cleaned the grave and adorned it with flowers, candles and his brother’s toys. We listened to him explain his story and why he was there. It brought home what Day of the Dead really means. It is one thing to read and study and walk through the cemetery and say to yourself “how interesting,” but another to have a participant share his personal story with us. He spent the night there praying and offering food with the rest of his family. In the morning, all my friends and I admitted that we could not forget him and his story, and all hoped that his younger brother had come and given him some peace.