The Aesthetic for Calaveras first began appearing around the 17th century but has had roots in Aztec, Mayan, and Toltec cultures. Calavera directly translates to skull but has a certain style differing from the style more prevalent in American like Gothic, Biker, or Pirate themes. It stems from not only honoring the dead but creating humility in ourselves by reminding us of our own mortality. The featured image is La Calavera Catrina by Jose Guadalupe Posada and is the basis for how the style of a Calavera should look. Many forms of Calaveras appear in the form of painting, face paint, and even sugar skulls that all hold similar attributes to Posada’s.
The sugar Calaveras are shown to be more colorful to embrace the good memories of one’s life. They are made from sugar and topped with icing, but can also have other objects as seen in the pictures above. Some people even take this concept to painting their face in a Calavera design as seen below.
They also make clay versions of the Calaveras which were used back in Aztec celebrations of Dia de los Muertos. The culture surrounding Dia de los Muertos is very rich and greatly impacts how homes look year long and teach a more lighthearted acceptance of death.