September 14, 2012
A glass pyramid covers the remains of African slaves at the home of Ana de la Merced Guimaraes in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In 1996, Merced Guimaraes and her husband bought a fixer-upper in the historic port-side neighborhood of Gamboa. Once they started digging, they made a discovery: the building sat atop the “cemetery of new blacks,” the burial place of newly arrived Africans who died soon after their arrival in Brazil between 1769 and 1830.
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Wearing full-skirted white dresses and turbans, the religious leaders chanted blessings and sprinkled water on the concrete floor of a modest house near this city’s port.