About Mihcailhuitl (Meek-kal-weet)
Day of the Dead
“Day of the Dead” is an ancient Native ritual, which celebrates the spirit of our loved ones who have passed. Native People have been practicing this ritual for thousands of years. Unlike many other cultures, Native People do not view death as the end of life, but as the continuation of “The Circle of Life”.
When the European Spaniards immigrated here to our land, they feared what they did not understand. Because of their fear they tried to eradicate this ritual, as they did with most of our traditions and customs, but like our old Native Spirit, this ritual refused to die. The Spaniards attempted to convert all of the Native People to Catholicism, to try to kill our sacred traditions.
To make this ritual more Christian and less Native, they moved it so it would coincide with their All Saints and All Souls day (Nov. 1st and 2nd), instead of the original time of the year that our ancestors practiced it, which was in the summer. Europeans successfully merged our ancient ritual with their Catholic theology. They changed the name and gave it a Spanish title, “Dia de Los Muertos”. This has helped to confuse a whole culture of people for many years. They seemed to have also changed the energy surrounding this sacred tradition, almost poking fun at death, or making light of it. This was not the original intent of this sacred ceremonial ritual.
To some of us who are attempting to discover and recover some of our original traditions, it will forever be “MIHCAILHUITL” (Day of the Dead), an ancient sacred Native ritual, respectfully honoring our loved ones as well as our ancestors.