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025. owls

Symbolism is tricky to discuss since any number of different attributes can be assigned to a single image. Certainly Greeks used the owl as a symbol of wisdom, & it eventually came to represent the goddess Athena. According to “Stories in Stone: A Field Guide to Cemetery Symbolism & Iconography” by Douglas Keister, owls can also signify watchfulness & contemplative solitude. Common behavior of owls can be provide comfort when associated with a cemetery, assuring vigilance during a family’s darkest hour.

The first owl anyone sees as they enter Recoleta Cemetery is the large, mustard-colored one on the entrance gate. Be sure to look up:

Owl, Recoleta Cemetery

Others are less obvious & used for ornamentation:

Owl, Recoleta Cemetery

Owl, Recoleta Cemetery

If interested, check out the tombs of Ernesto Bunge or Manuel Alcorta for more images of owls.

Published in:Symbols

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