Sight of Grace
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Journey to the Heavens

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Burial History

"In the interior of Brazil's northeast, children are buried with their eyes open so that they can more easily find the way to the heavens." Crateus, Brazil 1983 (picture and text from Sebastião Salgado's book: An Uncertain Grace page 122)


Some might say this picture is easier on the eyes because it doesn't present poverty, or starvation, or religious persecution--many of the other evident issues in Salgado's work. However, we believe this picture is not because of the unavoidable thoughts that run through your mind as you gaze into the baby's eyes-- it looks as though she is crying. Why? 

Is she dead? What did she die from? Why are her eyes open? Who's hand is that next to her head? Where is she right now? 

These pages are created by Jaime Beggrow, Ashley Freeman, Allison Montgomery, and Leslie McKenzie. We choose this picture because it leads the reader down many different avenues of thought. In this simple picture of a baby we discovered issues such as religion, death, life, spirituality, and culture.  In the following links you will read our humble attempt to answer some of these questions with background information about Brazil, and different burial traditions. Also, there is a page detailing our group's interpretation of the photo and finally a page narrating the death of a child and how it affects the surrounding people.