GlØrification of the After Life

January 26, 2015

“I am confident that there truly is such a thing as living again, that the living spring from the dead, and that the souls of the dead are in existence.” – Socrates 

The idea that there is a life after death is something found throughout the theologies of the world. While those concepts maybe tied closely to Hinduism’s “reincarnation” or Catholicism idea of “Heaven” we have found another way to capture life after death.  While cruising the internet we came across an article about a historian, author and photographer who unveiled an ancient ode to the afterlife.  We resinate well with Paul Koudounaris‘s appreciation for the after life and the glorification of what typically may not be seen as beautiful.

While researching for his book, The Empire of Death, his curiosity led him into the woods to a small deteriorating chapel near the Czech border. What he found inside was both magical and mind-blowing. Hidden behind some old wooden planks, Koudounaris found himself in the presence of death itself. Large glass eyes wedged into decayed, cavernous sockets, it was in this moment that Paul began his journey into the abyss of the afterlife.

Catacomb Saints

As Koudounaris continued to research these bejeweled remains, he began to delve into what was soon to be discovered as the “Catacomb Saints”. These adorned bones are considered holy Catholic Saints since the 16th and 17th centuries. Catholics viewed these religious remains as protectors and embodiments of the beauty of the afterlife.


Catacomb Saint 1 Catacomb Saint 2

Covered in highly precious jewels and dripping in real gold these bones are given an extension to life. Catacomb Saint 3 Catacomb Saint 4

Catacomb Saints Child of Wild

Catacomb Saint 5

At Child of Wild we have unearthed a way to make life after death a form of art and we aim to transform what could be thought of as unattractive into something stunning. By taking animal skulls and adding intricate designs full of vintage jewelry and decorative trims we thus give the animal a second life. We view our skull designs as a way of glorifying not only the animal but the concept around death. We play with bringing a feminine touch to the already masculine aesthetic of a bulls skull.

Decorated Cow Skull

We receive tons of comments and questions about our decorated skulls, and we’d love to continue to hear what you think about this rare art form below in our comments section. We are passionate about these bones and the inimitable beauty that they contain. Like Paul, finding beauty in uncommon places can thus create unworldly art.



(via This is Colossal & The Smithsonian)

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