Mikiztli event celebrates Dia de los Muertos in Phoenix

Music, art and people filled Steele Indian School Park in Phoenix on Sunday to celebrate Dia de Los Muertos or Day of the Dead.

Put on by the Cultural Coalition, the event, named Mikiztli, celebrates the Indigenous roots of honoring the dead through food, dance, story and prayer.

Sunday’s event, which marked the 10th anniversary of the celebration, brought hundreds of new and old faces to the park.

Artist and gallery owner Sam Gomez put the finishing touches on his booth as he talked about how the celebration helped people connect to their Indigenous roots.

“I think there’s a lot of people who, especially now with a lot of push with Indigenous culture, are looking to find their identity and that connection,” he explained.

Sam Gomez stands at his booth with art from local artists at Dia de los Muertos in Steele Indian School Park in Phoenix on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021.

He believed that people could connect to the past, the future, and each other through celebrations like these.

“We’ve got to learn from the past and practice it in the present in order to create a blueprint to strengthen the future,” he said. “I think this really helps us bring that union. I just think it helps me understand, and know that I’m part of a collective consciousness that’s thinking positive and that, you know, as much as we go through, we’re always thinking that we’re gonna have hope and that we’re going to ride it out, and laugh about it.”