South Africans bury their dead in a mound of raised red dirt so thick and dense that it clings to shoes and pants for years, even after many hand and machine washings. Because of HIV/AIDS crisis, these red dirt mounds now have very little space between them. Simple headstones mark the deceased's age. Many were small children; many were just reaching their twenties. Deaths from HIV/AIDS have caused the average lifespan in South Africa to plummet to 47.
Mamelodi, South Africa Cemetery
Photographed by Jennifer Davis; July 2005