Thousands of years prior to the Spanish
Conquest ethnic groups of the region including Olmec, Mayas, Toltecs, and
Aztecs honored their dead with rituals by burying them in graves with offerings
that included pottery, jewelry, textiles, food, and household objects.
Special months to honor and commemorate
the deceased were dedicated, separating celebrations based on age and mode of
death such as drowning, childbirth, or warfare.
During these months of celebration, the indigenous people believed that
the deceased would return and they would need to offer gifts, flowers, food,
incense, dances, and music as a way of gaining their favor.