After 20 years absence, museum guard Eusebio returns to his old home town in the Mexican backcountry, his mind set on finally making peace with the Rojas family. None of his old friends from that family are alive anymore. Only for this one day, the Day of the Dead, they come back from the Great Beyond to celebrate with the living. But ghosts of the past are reawakened by news of the tragic death of little Benito Rojas and these ghosts will soon force Eusebio to run away again. He tries to convey comfort to Benito’s mother through a letter: Eusebio is firmly convinced that the dead continue to exist and that they will only crumble into dust if they fade into oblivion.
Created in homage to the Mexican muralists, ‘The Dust of the Ancestors’ is a work in which the (hi)story is told mainly through the illustrations. Almost in passing, the book also offers insight into the rituals and traditions on the “Day of the Dead” and introduces the reader to a culture that does not treat death as a taboo but rather assigns it a proper place in everyday life. This is a culture that celebrates death and makes skeletons dance. (from the covertext)