Funeral Art in Peru

by T-Knox

This cemetery is located in the Pimentel District of the province Chiclayo in Peru.

The lives of the deceased come to life on tombstones throughout Peru as gravestones and mausoleums here are like no others around the world. For years Peruvians have painted them with images that best portray the lives of the deceased. This funeral art was first practiced south of Lima in Chilca where artists painted westernized religious portraits on graves and the tradition has spread to the rest of the county. In Puno, funeral artists transformed cemeteries into scenes of netherworld.

Cemeteries in Peru have manifested into art forms, even with above ground cemeteries. Rather than gravestones to mark the deceased there are walls of compartments for each person. Loved ones can decorate the plot and bring items to fill it. In many cases the decorations tell a story of some aspect of the deceased life. Some have windows or gates to guard the personal belongings.

Early Peruvians believed that the soul to a bird-like spirit. This spirit could fly away during slumber, and if it did not return the person would never wake up. In the chance that the spirit did return to inhabit the body, the remains were always well kept and protected. The same care is taken today. Peruvians are entitled to religious freedom according to their constitution; nearly 80% of Peruvians are Roman Catholic, and they have the freedom to choose their type of a burial.

Read more:

My Slice of Peru

Peru Facts |

Funeral Art

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