Miguel Angel Asturias from Hialeah
Poet, novelist, journalist and playwright Miguel Angel Asturias (also known as Miguel Angel Asturias Rosales) was born in Guatemala and moved to Paris when he was in his twenties. Although he lived abroad for much of his life, most of his writings focused on Latin American culture and particularly the culture of indigenous people. Asturias’s most noted novels were El Senor Presidente (1946), which described the effects of a dictatorship on society and Hombres de maiz (1949), an incisive look into the conflicts between Guatemala’s native culture and commercial interests. Both novels were written in a style now known as Magic Realism
Asturias won the Soviet Union’s Lenin Peace Prize in 1966 followed by the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1967. He died in Madrid in 1974, but his remains were transferred to Pere-Lachaise for burial. His unusual grave marker is a copy of a pre-Conquest stele which depicts a figure with headdress, shield and staff. The metal plaque at the base has a reproduction of Asturias’s signature and the date of his death using Maya numerals. The epitaph reads Gran lengua de Guatemala; Unigenito de Tecun Uman (Great Guatemalan tongue/translator; Sole descendant of Tecun Uman). Photograph courtesy Marie Beleyme.
One of the most hauntingly evocative funerary sculptures in the world is the Monument aux Morts (monument to the dead) at the end of Avenue Principale. The main architectural form of the monument is a mastaba, an Egyptian funerary monument with slanted sides that pre-dates the pyramids.
Aux morts was executed by Paul-Albert Bartholome. In 1888, following the death of his wife, Bartholome began crafting a sculpture symbolizing his grief and the transitory nature of life. By 1891 he had the first rudimentary figures completed in model form and by 1895 a larger model was unveiled. Immediately he received a commission from the City of Paris for a full size statuary group. In accepting the commission, Bartholome said, I give up any other consideration, I see only one thing: my work has a place perfect and I accept your offer without thinking. Four years later, on November 1st 1899 (All Saints Day) 100,000 Parisians gathered for the unveiling of the monument.
Bartholome worked in soft, white-beige limestone quarried in Euville in northeast France and crafted the 20 figures in three groupings at slightly larger than normal size. The figures on the top represent different attitudes towards death from despair and grief to resignation. Some figures are squatting, others are exchanging farewell caresses and kisses and others are downcast. At the center a woman lays her hand on the shoulder of a man symbolizing that their time in this realm has ended and they must face the inevitable. Below, the couple now lay prostrate with a child a top them while a woman hovers with outstretched arms. The inscription beside her reads, Upon those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death a light shines. Bartholome’s signature is below the inscription.
In the 1920s, 30s and 40s a series of decrees addressed the need for an ossuary to be built at Pere-Lachaise which would receive the bones that would be removed from 16 of Paris’ cemeteries from abandoned or dilapidated tombs with perpetual concessions. The design of the ossuary by architect Jules Formige, utilized the twin doors on the ends of aux Morts. The first bones were received from Montmartre and Montparnasse Cemeteries on January 1, 1953. The first bones from Pere-Lachaise were received on January 10, 1963.
The same goes for the gender imbalance of these classes: Hialeah Map About 60 percent of the slaves and even 80 percent of the whites were male. The overabundance of white men emboldened prostitution 55 percent of the free colored people were female and encouraged interracial sexual relations. This was the main reason for the growing number of affranchis, who had accounted for no more than a third of the free population until the 1760s. Their imminent outnumbering of the white population increased social tension, especially as, in contrast to whites and slaves, nearly all free colored people had been born in Saint-Domingue but could gain no social standing or even political participation in their country.
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