Artist John Jota Leaños’ McMuerto’s project (1998) satirized the encroaching commercialization and cultural mainstreaming of the día de muertos festival in the USA:

Inspired by the ancient Aztec’s legendary journey to the happy land of the dead, McTlandTM is a world of exotic fun and surprises. The diligent research of McMuerto’s staff has brought the ancient Aztec traditions of Día de los Muerto’s to the hands of our younger generations in convenient fun-filled experiences! Along the mystical path, youngsters meet up with their favorite McMuerto’sTM buddies like Ronnie CalacaTM and make amigos (ah – me – goes) with our new edition of McTlandTM characters. So on their next visit to McMuerto’sTM, parents should invite their kids to become a part of the wonderful world of McMuerto’s McTlandTM!

As a counterpoint, Regina Marchi’s book Day of the Dead in the USA demonstrates that the relationship between “folk festival” and commercial institutions has been highly complex since the 1970s, when the Mexican government revived, expanded and redefined the Day of the Dead as an expression of national values/tourist opportunity.

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