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Sincerely, Sicily

The Forge Collective Blog Birds N Bones Jewelry
- Elizabeth Mikutowicz -
Last week Birds N Bones co-creator Zoe Cope was in Italy, so we have Italian travel on the brain. One of the destinations she visited was Sicily, an island located on the Southern tip of Italy. The balmy Mediterranean climate and warm island culture are just a couple draws to the island. It is also home to many archeological sites, and the largest active volcano in Europe, Mt. Etna, which dominates the eastern skyline. Sicily is the birthplace of the mob and uniquely delicious Italian food.
One of the Sicilian locales that fascinates us the most is the Capuchin Catacombs,  an underground tomb with roughly 8,000 embalmed bodies. The origins of the catacomb date back to the 16th century when the Capuchin Monastery ran out of space at the local cemetery. As an alternative, they created crypts below the monastery. Initially the catacombs were meant only for members of the monastery, but over time it became a status symbol to be embalmed and laid to rest there. The bodies amassed over the course of 5 centuries, eventually becoming the historical collection that it is today.
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*Insert from Zoe here; when you enter the catacombs, there's a sign saying not to take photos... well my dad is a photographer so it was super hard to break the habit and he took some photos on his camera. By the evening he had accidentally deleted all the images on his card, and within three days he had lost that card after he changed it to a new one to be safe. So, lets just say I won't be adding any images taken during my trip to the catacombs ;)
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Some of the bodies are remarkably well preserved. Perhaps the best preserved and possibly the most creepy is that of a two girl old girl who died in 1920. The bodies are dressed as they were at the time of their funerals, and act as a time capsule by reflecting the popular dress of their time.

The tombs also contain over one thousand mummies all and the bodies are neatly arranged and categorized by male, female, virgins, children, priests, monks, and professionals.

Although this has become a historical attraction, during its peak use, it was meant as a way for families to stay connected and honor their deceased loved-ones. The intimate way in which these families cared for the bodies of their dead is particularly fascinating. Regardless of how we do it, paying homage to our dead is a significant aspect of our collective culture as humans, and a huge part of Birds N Bones Jewelry.
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Snaps from Zoe's Sicily trip...
Sicily Birds N Bones Jewelry
Sicily Birds N Bones Jewelry
Sicily Birds N Bones Jewelry
Sicily Birds N Bones Jewelry
Sicily Birds N Bones Jewelry
Sicily Birds N Bones Jewelry
Sicily Birds N Bones Jewelry
Sicily Birds N Bones Jewelry
Sicily Birds N Bones Jewelry
Sicily Birds N Bones Jewelry
Sicily Birds N Bones Jewelry
Sicily Birds N Bones Jewelry
Sicily Birds N Bones Jewelry
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