The purpose of this study was to document and define symbolic imagery found within the grounds of the Colon Cemetery in Havana, Cuba. Memorials erected to the dead use symbology to tell stories about the departed, giving us clues to the deceased’s values and philosophies, as well as their religion, ethnicity, social memberships, occupations, education, level of wealth, and thoughts on the afterlife (Keister, 2004). Using images of Colon Cemetery from a photographic documentary series, Havana: Behind the Facade, architectural and cemetery symbology was grouped into categories, researched for meaning, and sought for interpretations to reveal clues about Cuban culture and beliefs in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In general, these symbols revealed that this society believed in religious fervor, an afterlife, and a merciful God. This study serves to guide anyone who wants to interpret cemetery symbology. It opens the door to future studies on specific Cuban families and tombs. Most importantly, it visually preserves the symbology found on architecture and monuments within Colon Cemetery.
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"The Architecture of the Dead: Cemetery Symbolism in Colon Cemetery, Havana, Cuba,"
Journal of Global Initiatives: Policy, Pedagogy, Perspective: Vol. 15:
1, Article 5.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.kennesaw.edu/jgi/vol15/iss1/5