Animita ✿ Stories from South America

Garden of Stories

Angélica de Los Molles; photo by ClixYou; Creative Commons license

Liliana Ojeda shares her feelings about the animita, a roadside shrine that forms a motif for the stories about what we make in South America.

Animita is a roadside shrine, often dedicated to a humble neighbour, at which flowers are regularly laid and candles lit in remembrance. They are common in South America and the source of inspiration for popular art movements such as Animita Cartonera.

The steward for this feature, Liliana Ojeda, writes of the animita:

“For me, animitas are a kind of a sweet sadness. They always announce a tragic death, but they transmit the spirit of the person who died in a very popular way. They make a sort of altar full of flowers, pictures, teddy bears and toys, if it was a child, in a very tiny house built with very unsophisticated materials.”

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