Animitas (4 C, 43 F) Religious buildings in Chile (13 C, 7 F) Baile Religioso – Templo Votivo 55 s, × ; MB. Eduardo Castillo Ramírez A l’Animita kápolna a Concepciónból Bulnes felé vezető út kilométerkövénél, Floridában épült fel, csupán két kilométerre Castillo. Discount hotels near L’ Animita de Romualdito, Santiago. Museo del Carmen · Templo Votivo de Maipú · Centro de las Artes · Plaza de Chile Hotels.

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Among the most peculiar findings, there are some masks created from human skulls. These masks are quite elaborate: In a team of anthropologists from the University of Montana conducted an experimental research on eight of these maskscomparing them with anlmitas non-modified skulls found on the same site, in animltas to learn their sex, age at death, possible diseases and life styles. The results showed that the skull masks belonged to male individuals, 30 to years old, with particularly good teeth, indicating above-average health.

Therefore the skulls very likely belonged to prisoners of noble origins, excellently nourished and lacking any pathologies. Human sacrifices at the Templo Mayor, for which the Aztecs are sadly known, were a spectacle that could entail different procedures: The masks were produced from the bodies of sacrified warriors; wearing them must have had a highly symbolic value. But there existed other, more unsettling disguises that have been inevitably lost: Other masks, made of human skin, were displayed as offerings on temple altars, just as a number of the skull masks, reanimated by shell and stone eyeballs, noses, and tongues, were buried in offerings at the Templo Mayor.

Category:Religion in Chile – Wikimedia Commons

Klein, Aztec Masksin Mexicolore, September The iconography portrays this god clothed in human skin. Such masks, wether made of bone or of skin, have a much deeper meaning than the ritual itself. They play an important role in establishing identity:. In Nahuatl, the language spoken by the Aztecs, the word for face, xayacatlis the same word used to refer to something that covers the face.

Here is the interesting point: These temploz are but a different declination of ideas we are quite familiar with — ideas that ani,itas at the very core of our own society.

The relationship between the face ds identity and individuality and the mask we wear, is a very ancient paradox. Just like for the Aztecs the term xayacatl could indicate both the mask and the face, for us too they are often indistinguishable. One of the most recognized etimologies tells us that tragedy is actually the song of the scapgoat: Tragedy plays — which Athenians were obligated to attend by law, during Dionysus celebrations — substituted the ancestral violence of the sacrifice with its representation, and the scapegoat with the tragic hero.


Thus the theater, in the beginning, was conflict and catharsis.

A duel between the Barbarian, who knows no language and acts through natural instinct, and the Citizen, the son of order and logos. Theater, just like human sacrifice, created cultural identity; the Mask creates the person needed for the mise-en-scene of this identity, forming and regulating social interactions.

The human sacrifices of the ancient Greeks and of the Aztec both xnimitas the same need: Here are the enemies, all alike, just bleached bones under the sun, with no individual quality whatsoever.

A simple sign says: This is the cult of hemplos animitas. Their souls still haunt the places where life was taken from them.

The Romualdito at the train station, for instance, was a little boy who suffered from tubercolosis, assaulted and killed by some thugs who wanted to steal his poncho and the 15 pesos he had on him. Young Astrid, the hemplos with the plush toys altar, died in in a motorcycle accident, when she was just years-old.

Category:Religion in Chile

But these funeral altars can be found by the hundreds, mostly installed by the roadside, shaped like little houses or small churches with crosses sicking out of their tiny roofs. At first they are built as an act of mercy and remembrance on the exact spot of the fatal accident or, in the case of fishermen lost at sea, in specific sectors of the coast ; but they become the center of a real cult whenevert the soul of the deceased proves to be miraculous animita muy milagrosa.

When, that is, the spirit starts answering to prayers and offerings with particular favors, by interceding bewteen the annimitas and the Holy Virgin or Christ himself.

The cult of the animitas is an original mixture of the indigenous, pre-Hispanic cult of the dead where the ancestor turned into a benign presence offering protection to his offspring and the cult of the souls of Purgatory which arrived here with Catholicism. For this reason it shows surprising analogies with another form of folk religiosity developed in Naples, at the Fontanelle Cemeterya place to which I devoted my book De profundis.

The two cults, not officially recognized by the Roman Church, have some fundamental aspects in common. Animitasbuilt with recycled material, are folk art objects that closely resemble the carabattoli found in the Fontanelle Cemetery; chie only for their shape but also for their function of making a dialectic, a dialogue with the Netherworld possible.


Secondly, the system of intercessions and favors, the offerings and the ex voto, are essentially the same in both cases. But the crucial element is that the objects of veneration are not religious heroesthose saints who accomplished miraculous feats while they were alive, but rather victims of destiny.

Who of course have themselves an apotropaic function, but always maintain a higher position in respect to common mortals. They are protective spirits which can be bothered even for more modest, trivial miracles, because they once were ordinary people, se they understand.

But while in Italy the cult developed exclusively in one town, in Chile it is quite ubiquitous. To ajimitas an idea of the tenacity and pervasiveness of this faith, there is one last, amazing example.

Ghost bikes white-painted bicycles remembering a cyclist who was run over by a car can be seen all around the world, and they are meant as a warning against accidents. When these installations began to appear in Chile, they anikitas intertwined with popular devotion giving ve to hybrids called bicianimitas.

Boxes for the ritual offerings began to appear beside the white bicycles, and the funeral memorials turned into a bridge for communication between the living and the dead.

Those living and dead that, the animitas seem to remind us, are never really separated but coexist on the city streets or along the side of dusty highways stretching out into the desert.

The blog Animitas Chilenas intends to create an archive of all animitas, recording for each one the name of the soul, her history and GPS coordinates.

Photographer Patricio Valenzuela Hohmann put up a wonderful animitas photo gallery. The cult of the Difunta Correa is so widespread that it led to the construction of a real sanctuary in Vallecitovisited by one million pilgrims every year.

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