Day of the dead — and the disappeared

November 03, 2006, Volume 37, No.5

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The SFU Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology is holding a Day of the Dead exhibition opening Nov. 2 that features a special tribute to the disappeared. The Day of the Dead, or Día de los Muertos, is a tradition with Aztec and Catholic roots celebrating the memory of deceased relatives on Nov. 1 (All Saints' Day) and Nov. 2 (All Souls' Day). It is particularly popular in Mexico and Brazil, where it is a public holiday. Museum curator Barbara Winter notes that archaeologists play a major role in documenting human rights abuses by applying archaeological excavation methods to the recovery of the missing from mass graves and assisting in their subsequent identification. In addition to traditional sweets and flowers, there will be photographs of the detained and disappeared. The exhibition runs throughout November.

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