We began "building" an ofrenda with traditional elements. We included marigolds, water, candles, and things meaningful to those being remembered. On Wednesday we got the physical, textural and color structure in place. On Thursday I was on a mission to find tissue for marigolds and can now tell you all the places in town that don't it. But I was lucky and found these artificial marigolds and oranges while zooming around town. Having oranges on the ofrenda was a an acknowledgement to all of those who owned the land and worked the land where oranges were grown.
In a similar way, I found a copy of an image from the Pasadena Museum of History of a person who may have been homesteader or squatter. In the original image she appears to either be Latina or have indigenous roots. In any case, it's a bit of an homage to the folks who lived on Indian Flats and other places along the arroyo as the ninetieth century was coming to a close. The shells and sage stems are arranges as butterflies - las mariposas are on all levels of the ofrenda.
Often ofrendas become communal in nature. That is certainly the case here. The candles, chocolate skull, image of a Spanish colonial style house, and the painting were additions by folks who work or live in Altadena. I suspect there'll be more added as time goes on.
I'm about to go away for a bit. I'll be happy to be on the road to New Mexico, lots of stops while there and on the way returning home. I have to wonder how the ofrenda will change while I'm gone?