There's almost too much to say about this project! We were delighted to be asked back to The Rambunctious Social Club by the ever-entrepreneurial Lee Hodges. This time for a Mexican Night of The Dead Ball.
We set up a dead tree inside The Yellow Rooms of Hannah's at Seale Hayne, and lovingly adorned it with artificial oak leaves and surrounded it with ofrendas to the dead. Ofrendas are highly decorative shrines customized to particular people who have died. They are littered with objects, flowers, photographs and poems, as well as food and drink. Our shrines included ofrendas for Pets, grandmothers, history's monarchs and other victims of the courtly curse, and a few individuals including Jim Henson and Patrick Swayze. Luggage tags and pens were left around for people to remember their own beloved dead, and by the end of the night the central tree was covered in beautiful and touching remembrances which will soon be burned in a special ceremony.
We also created white skull masks for people to decorate wildly in the Mexican style.
There was so much going on, as there always is at Rambunctious nights - too much to list here. But what I'd really like to recall about that night is the awesome power of the spirit of this festival. People really did remember the dead and welcome them in. It was a night that healed people who had lost people in recent years. It really made us realise that we have a problem with dealing with death in our culture in Britain. We need to celebrate death more, because it helps us to keep the dead in our hearts, thereby never losing them.