The sisterhood of the skulls

Charles Cowling

 

Posted by Vale

 

If Kutna Hora and Capela dos Ossos show anything it is that we cannot let bones lie.

Buried and disinterred, stacked and stored these vast collections become places where the living can meet and marvel at the dead.

In Naples, at the charnel house in the middle of its Fontanelle Cemetary, this urge has flowered into a full blown relationship. In the 1870s a cult arose around the anonymous dead. People adopted skulls, cleaned and polished them, gave them names, brought them offerings and asked them for favours.

The cult lasted until the late 1960s when the church closed it down.

You can read about Fontanelle here and here.

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