How to Make Sawdust Carpet Tapetes for the Day of the Dead
Tapetes are a common way to honor the dead in Central Mexico on el Día de Muertos
Last Updated Sep 5, 2020 Mexican Holidays
In Central Mexico, a common way to decorate altars, graves and public spaces on the Day of the Dead is by making traditional sawdust carpets, called tapetes, which means carpet or rug.
Tapetes are sometimes created on the street and can span the length of a block or more. But they are also built in much smaller sizes to decorate an altar or a grave on the Day of the Dead.
Tapetes are made primarily from sawdust that’s dyed in a variety of colors. But people will add other objects such as flowers (usually marigolds), seeds, salt, ash and various materials.
These photos depict the process of how the sawdust is prepared here in Ajijic before the Day of the Dead.