07 April 2010

The Boneyard

In Colon Cemetery in Havana, Cuba is the site of the celebrated 'boneyard'. A single grave in the cemetery cost $10 in rent for five years. At the end of the five years, if the remains were not claimed, the bones were thrown into the boneyard [sometimes known as 'bone pile] by the cemetery authorities.

In the 1890s, American soldiers often removed skulls and bones and drove through the streets of Havana displaying them. Their commander, General Brooke ordered the practice to stop and gave instructions for the pit to be covered over. Two cards, here, show American soldiers stood on the thirty foot deep pile holding up bones in the shape of the skull and crossbones. Photographs were taken and sold commercially as souvenir postcards to send home to their loved ones. How times have changed! Remember to click on the images to enlarge them.


No comments:

Post a Comment