Hybridity and Authenticity in US Day of the Dead Celebrations


In the 1970s, secular Day of the Dead celebrations were initiated in the United States as a way to communicate messages of Chicano identity. As the US Latino community became more ethnically diverse in the 1980s and 1990s, new Latino populations participated in these public festivities, creating pan-Latino celebrations. At the same time, non-Latinos began to embrace Day of the Dead as an alternative way to remember the departed. The observance of the holiday in new ways and by new groups of people has sparked negotiations around ownership and meaning, illustrating that hybridity and authenticity are complexly related rather than oppositional concepts.