PHOTOGRAPHS by JOE CANTRELL
It was all about the marigolds and the music and the dancing and a whole lot more on Saturday afternoon and early evening at the second annual Sempoashochitl Festival, a free gathering at Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District’s Garden Home Recreation Center.
Sempoashochitl, or Cempoalxóchitl, is the marigold, often known in Aztecan and other Mexican cultures as flor de muertos, or flower of the dead, and associated with Día de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead, a time of both remembrance and celebration.
Saturday’s festival, organized by Anahuac Wellness and Art Center with support from the Park & Recreation Center, was definitely both of those things. Photographer Joe Cantrell was on hand to catch the festivities, which included a traditional tianguis, the market or bazaar of Mexico and Central America; a Dia de los Muertos altar; a tapetes de ánimas, or temporary carpet of flowers; free tamales with marigold flower, and tea bags “to teach the therapeutic and nutritional uses of the flower”; and artworks and pre-Hispanic music.
And of course, that Meshica-Tolteca dancing. A dance of death? Perhaps. A dance of life? Indeed. A dance of mystery and mortality and beauty and tradition and love? All of those things, and more. It was that kind of a day.
— The Editors