‘Graveyards of Little Angels’: Sierra – Discover a tradition that unites ache, love and faith in children’s funerals in the Sierra

The ache of dropping a baby throughout childbirth or quickly after beginning was frequent for moms in Ceará, particularly till the twentieth century, as a consequence of malnutrition and vulnerability to illnesses that can now be prevented by vaccines. The little ones, with out a probability to stay, had been seen and buried solely by Faith sacred locations: “Graveyards of Little Angels”.

Burial of minor angels occurred in communal areas and even in yard And new graves are constructed in many municipalities of the Sierra with out even buying them. They have cemeteries fashioned from beliefs about the connection between the bodily and non secular worlds Oral traditions.

Amid the struggling of their mother and father, little angels are despatched to heaven to intercede for many who are thought of members of the family who stay. In phrases of excessive toddler mortality charges, some of these locations obtain a lot Generations of the identical household And turns into a image of faith.

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The former church of the Cathedral of Fortaleza

“There is an historical building that connects the lifeless with little angels in childhood. In some instances, unofficial cemeteries had been created solely for many who died or who died quickly after beginning”, analyzes Cicero Joaquim dos Santos, a researcher on the topic and PhD in History.

For instance, the Anjinhos district in Santana do Carríri has a historical past of ache in its identify and land: two youngsters had been discovered lifeless in the nineteenth century, victims of a famine. In Ceará, when dying occurred in this manner, a nonetheless smaller, non secular tradition led the burial to a sacred place.

In the area of Anjinhos, previous residents inform of a extreme drought in the nineteenth century, when The inhabitants was astonished While watching the animal with two caçuás (baskets, often, made of straw). The episode was recorded by historian Sergio Linhares Northeast Diary.

Little angels

Subtitle: The historical past of Anjinhos district is linked with traditions of drought and children’s cemeteries.

Photograph: Northeast Diary

When they approached, the individuals discovered two lifeless youngsters being carried away by the animal, which was agitated. At the time, the inhabitants believed that mother and father, in an act of desperation, positioned youngsters in an animal in the hope that they’d be saved.

Because of this episode, the website turned generally known as Alto dos Ingenhos and acquired its official identify on September 18, 1963, as recorded by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE).

How was the burial carried out?

The infants had been often named Jose, João or Maria and their coffins had been white, blue or pink. In addition, there may be a Type of baptism Children as much as the age of 7, as a result of they had been thought of little angels, had been thought of idolaters, as the researcher refers.

“In all these instances, the concept is that the little baby has no sin, and is due to this fact a little angel, but in addition has a complementary data: as a result of they weren’t baptized, they might not enter the kingdom of heaven”, Joachim completes. .

Burial of young children

Subtitle: Families sought sacred websites for the burial of younger youngsters

Photograph: Alex Costa

Therefore, burials can happen the place rainwater can type this “baptism”. “Buried at the again of the home, close to the tocaps, as a result of there may be an concept that rainwater can baptize the our bodies of lifeless youngsters”, he explains.

In addition, they had been serps The locations are thought of sacred To attain the grave of angels. “There are instances of young children who had been buried in the bull’s corral, as a result of it was in the manger and it’s a sacred context”, exemplifies the historian.

In all these instances the concept is that the little baby has no sin, and is due to this fact a little angel, but in addition has extra data: as a result of they weren’t baptized, they might not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Cicero Joaquim dos Santos


Joachim visited and studied a number of small angelic cemeteries in the Sierra for his doctorate in historical past titled “The Mystic of Time: Stories about the Dead in the Carriri/CE Region”. Check out tales from some of these locations:

Santa Quiteria

Subtitle: Burial in Angel Cemetery in Santa Quiteria

Photograph: Alex Costa

Upper chapada do araripe

A resident of Alto da Chapada do Araripe, whose identification was preserved, noticed her first daughter die shortly after supply. A cross representing the loss of a girl makes room for others and over the years, 3 generations had been buried in Angel Cemetery.

“I needed to journey a bike on the highway, as there was no option to go by automobile. There I discovered a effectively-preserved cemetery at the again of a residence the place 19 youngsters had been buried”, Joachim recollects.

Some individuals even related the little angels as beings who reached and handed by the sky Intercede for the household. Still, moms shared the ache of seeing some offspring with out a probability to expertise the passage of the earth.

Rufina Cross

A small cross signifies the burial of youngsters generally known as Cruz da Rufina, in Porteras, in the southern area. This is as a result of of devotion Several mother and father to a lady died on the spot.

Residents say that between the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a lady named Rufina was brutally murdered in the bush, the place a Cross in honor of the sufferer.

Places the place individuals die tragically are seen as locations of iMediator between worlds, reminiscent of the undergrowth related to Rufina’s dying. In this case, it’s interpreted as socially transcendent.

As a type of devotion, households whose youngsters had died determined to bury the younger youngsters at Cruz da Rufina. The composition has acquired a cowl and its pictures have been positioned in place Catholic Saints.


Subtitle: The grief of dropping a baby was, on some degree, comforted by the perception of turning into a little angel.

Photograph: Alex Costa

Cova da Negra

Similar to the story of younger Rufina, one other tragic dying gave rise to a place of devotion at Catingeira Farm in the countryside of Crato. There, the inhabitants says that a slave ran away from the farm the place she lived and was Killed by a jaguar in the forest

The stays had been buried the place the cross was additionally constructed and the website turned generally known as the Cova da Negra. Part of the inhabitants is grateful extraordinary powers and the level of communication between the earthly and heavenly worlds.

In addition to being a place of prayer for the devoted, the Cova da Negra started to obtain tombs of minor angels from the area.

Are there nonetheless graveyards of little angels?

It remains to be attainable to seek out the Little Angel Cemetery Locations away from city facilitiesBut solely sure instances produce new graves in these locations, as in the case of abortion.

“When an abortion doesn’t happen in a hospital area, some individuals understand it as a little angel and this burial continues, though it isn’t official”, provides Joachim.

They are millennial data that may be very robust in the non secular creativeness, which refers to the salvation of these youngsters who’re understood as angels.

Cicero Joaquim dos Santos



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