This October you are invited to join a workshop on constructing Ancestor Altar Boxes.
This is an opportunity for us to gather and discuss the cross cultural practice of ancestor worship. We will construct small boxes using cardboard or cigar boxes as a base. These will serve as our “altars” for relatives who have passed on.
Within these small boxes we will be creating space to remember, connect, and communicate with our relatives who dwell in the realm of the spirit.
We all have our own unique thoughts, perspectives, and practices regarding death, ancestors and the realm of spirits. My intention with this workshop is to express these thoughts and ideas in conversation during the creative process of making. At the end of the class we will each have a visually compelling Altar box to use in whatever way feels right for each of us.
Wikipedia describes the veneration of the dead (including ancestors) as being based on love and respect for the deceased. In some cultures it is related to beliefs that the dead have a continued existence, and may possess the ability to influence the fortune of the living. Ancestor veneration occurs in societies with every degree of social, political, and technological complexity, And it remains an important component of various religious practices in modern times. The social or non-religious function of ancestor veneration is to cultivate kinship values such as *Filial piety, family loyalty, and continuity of family lineages.
*Filial piety: In Confuscian/Chinese buddhist and taoist ethics “filial piety” is a virtue of respect for one’s parents, elders, and ancestors.
What to bring for the workshop: (I will bring some boxes and collage materials)
A smallish cardboard box, or cigar box, collage materials
What to include in your Altar Box?
Memories, photographs, symbols, lights, stones, plants, notes, messages, the elements, offerings, questions, collaged images, found objects, food, incense, cultural heritage, anything you want….