Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pinatas and Chupacabras?

What do you get when you mix a Chupacabra and a Pinata??

You will find out soon because that was our project for the day :)
But first a little history about both - starting with the pinata.  Pinatas are fun!  The paper-mache figures full of candy and toys that young kids armed with sticks beat to a pulp - but why and where did this become a tradition?  Mexico, right?  Well, actually no.  While pinatas are most associated with Mexico, it seems that pinatas actually originated in China.  The Chinese version was used during the New Year festivities and was in the shape of an ox or cow, filled with 5 different types of seeds and painted with symbols for a prosperous crop.  In the 14th century they came to Europe and were given religious significance and used to celebrate Lent (the period of fasting right before Easter for Catholics).  The word pinata came from the Italian word "pignatta", which means "fragile pot" because the pinatas were made from decorated clay pots.  The Europeans brought the tradition with them to Mexico where it was eventually meshed with the similar Aztec tradition used to celebrate the birthday of their god Huitzilopochtli.  Eventually it lost its religious significance and use of clay pots (too many shards flying everywhere) and now is the paper-mache Elmo or whatever that we have today.  To play the pinata is filled with small candy and toys and hung over a branch from a rope.  The "hitter" is blindfolded and given a stick which he blindly swings round trying to hit the pinata.  Hopefully, he hits the pinata (and not some bystander) and the after a few whacks the candy spills out, if not the next person is up.  Fun times.  Now to make the tradition a little scarier and combine it with the elusive, mythical beast of lore - the Chupacabra!!!!!

The Chupacabra-

What, you may ask, is the Chupacabra?  No one knows for sure.  The name means "goat-sucker" and it is a mythical (some say real) animal that has reportedly been spotted in Mexico, the southern U.S., Puerto Rico and even in Russia!!  It is supposed to kill small animals (sheep, goats, etc) by sucking the blood out of them.  Kinda like a vampire, I guess.  Some "witnesses" have said it looks like half-alien/half-dinosaur with spikes down it's back.  Some say it's more like a panther or coyote with a long,forked tongue and glowing eyes.  It has a sulfur smell and a loud screech - oh, and it hops like a kangaroo!!  So in tribute to this mish-mash monster we are making our own version of it and combining it with a pinata to create the scariest, most feared pinata that ever lived -

The Chupacabra/Pinata mash-up!!

For this project you will need:
  • a pre-made pinata.  We bought ours but you can make one if you have the time and inclination.  
  • paint
  • red felt for eyes
  • fangs and whatever other stuff you want to add.   We turned a caveman necklace into back spikes.
1. Make some greenish brownish color paint by mixing some colors.  Opposite colors like blue/orange, red/green, purple/yellow will make brownish.  Paint the pinata.
2. Add some red eyes, fangs, spikes down the back and whatever else a scary monster might have.
3. Let dry overnight and you are ready to fill with candy :)

Now that's a face only a mother could love!!
Happy Halloween :)

1 comment:

  1. That is awesome looking!! I've never heard of that term before---- I must have been asleep in Spanish class.

    LOVE the teeth!