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An "Animita" is a Chilean term for a roadside shrine to a deceased person. It is not a custom unique to Chile, although the extent to which they are found, and the effort put into them, are more marked in Chile. The typical Animita is the size of a dog house (and indeed, often will have been put into that use by one of Chile's many street dogs), and will feature a picture of the deceased, along with items characteristic to them. It might also have a message or prayer. I once saw one that had a poem discouraging drunk driving. They are often put at the site of a fatal traffic accident, and sometimes close to a person's death, but sometimes they can be placed in a prominent site on the road simply as a memorial. Some of them are religious in nature, while others are secular. Some of the largest become entire complexes of devotion to celebrate popular, pseudo-religious figures, or to memorialize people whose death had a political or social significance.

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