Thursday, November 6, 2014

Day of the Dead in Second Life

By Fritter Enzyme

The Day of the Dead.  This holiday is observed throughout Mexico in modern times but has roots in many cultures.  Originally taking place at the beginning of summer, it has moved to coincide with All Saints Day.  Many date it back to the Aztec festival of Mictecacihuatl, a goddess of the underworld and the Lady of the Dead.

In Second Life we have the privilege to share in this tradition at the Day of the Dead site.  Sponsored by the Smithsonian, Disney and AARP, this color filled villa brings the holiday to us.  Skulls and skeletons abound, dressed and painted, marigolds or gems for eyes are common.  You can make your own Ofrenda, or altar, to honor those you have lost in a sandbox area, a basic kit is provided for free.  There is a river or memories, with pictures of loved ones and candles, and a pet cemetery for our beloved animal friends. 

Many videos are there to learn tradition from, and stages for artists.  Though the main ceremonies have already happened, it is still open for your participation and exploration.  Food, drink and favorite possessions of the dead are placed at alters for their spirits to partake of.  Asian and African cultures have similar types of celebrations they practice.  I did find it very interesting that a court for the Aztec ball game, which is usable, is set there.  Ulama, the Mesoamerican ballgame can be played by two teams without the traditional killing of the losing team at the end.  This game is one of the oldest continuously played sports in the world. Women played this game often.

I have looked for one of these in the past in Second Life.  Now I have found one.  Set aside some virtual time, make your altar, and remember your dead friends and family.  See the sim and learn it’s stories.  And if you can get two teams together, play some Ulama.  All in all, one of the most interesting places I have seen for a while. 

Smithsonian LVM - UTEP  Placita, UTEP Miners 1 (117, 115, 25)


Fritter Enzyme

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