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Our Mission: History inspires imagination, stimulates thought and transforms society.

The Los Altos History Museum preserves and shares our local history to enrich our community and to shape a more informed future.

Exhibit Information

Current Exhibit

Spirits Return: Cultural Traditions Keeping  Memories Alive
October 29, 2015 - April 17, 2016

Human beings all over the world follow traditions by which they honor and celebrate their ancestors. These rituals and celebrations often share similar elements, like visiting the graves of loved ones with food and drink, or erecting altars to honor the departed, and inviting them to come back to visit. We tell stories, so that those who never knew their ancestors connect to their heritage, and those who did know them continue to remember.

These traditions cultivate a sense of identity and nurture values of family loyalty and pride. This new exhibition is a multi-cultural look at how we remember our loved ones who have passed on.

Exhibit Programs

3.19-20 —Ikebana Show

4.2 —Family Day at the Museum

Past Exhibit Programs

10.29 - Explore the Aztec Roots of El Día de los Muertos
Thursday, October 29, 6:30pm at the Los Altos Library
Join us for a fascinating discussion about the Day of the Dead with Sunnyvale artist and social scientist Daniel Malinali. For more information click here.

Daniel Malinali, Artist, Social Scientist
The youngest of three (born 9.6.68), I was raised in a Mexican-American home in Sunnyvale, California. My Mexika/Aztec culture has always sparked a fire in me. The Aztec calendar brought back fond memories of childhood. I was fascinated with the skull sitting center stage in the calendar. Aztecs were always fascinated with death.

In 1997, I received a Double B.S. in Social Science and Human Development/Psychology at Cal Poly SLO. A year earlier (1996), I attended the Universidad Nahuatl in Ocotepec, Guerrero, Mexico. That experience was the turning point for me. Learning Nahuatl was understanding ideas and thoughts of the Aztecs. The language is based on numbers and energies, (wind earth, water, one, two, four) as a social scientist, this sparked my interest! This is the side of the story the books do not talk about! The other side is fascinating, life changing in my case.

It changed my life. This event manifested into a company dedicated to educating people about the meaning behind the Aztec symbols. Anahuak Designs was my instrument to teach and share the knowledge of the Mexika/Aztec Culture.

The ceremony of Miktlan, today is Day of the Dead. The concept of mikltan is a corner stone to the philosophy and world view of the Aztec people. This philosophy of duality - ometeotl. Life and death, fire and water, many dual energies which make up our world. The Aztecs adored symmetry and the math of nature. Their life practices are often misunderstood rituals. Traveling and living in Mexico helped me to feel and understand these stories. Meeting people who still live this way today has been a blessing.

Sharing some nahuatl words and terms, the story of the dead and their place in the Aztec world will fascinate you while revealing a world of darkness unknown to many. Come explore a world of beautiful creation where death and love are eternal.

11.1 - Exhibit Reception: November 1, 2015, 4-7pm, with Mexican ballet folklόrico, Taiko drummers and Obon dancers.

Memoir Writing Workshop
January 23, 20162-4pm
Mountain View Library, 585 Franklin St. Mountain View

Join us for a workshop on the Art of Memoir Writing. Presented in partnership with the Mountain View Library in connection to our current exhibit Spirits Return: Cultural Traditions Keeping Memories Alive, this two-hour workshop taught by Sylvia Halloran will focus on how to tap into your creative juices and create enthralling stories out of your own memories.
Sylvia Halloran is a writer and editor who has been teaching memoir writing for Mountain View/Los Altos Adult Education since 2004.
FREE. Registration required. Sign up here.