Ethnicity and the American Cemetery

Overview

Far more than merely elements of space sectioned off and set aside for the burial of the dead, cemeteries are, in effect, open cultural texts, there to be read and appreciated by anyone who takes the time to learn a bit of their special language. In the United States, nowhere is this more true than in the case of cemeteries established by members of the diverse ethnic groups which have exerted a subtle but powerful influence upon the development of American culture. Ethnicity and the American Cemetery, a volume ...
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Overview

Far more than merely elements of space sectioned off and set aside for the burial of the dead, cemeteries are, in effect, open cultural texts, there to be read and appreciated by anyone who takes the time to learn a bit of their special language. In the United States, nowhere is this more true than in the case of cemeteries established by members of the diverse ethnic groups which have exerted a subtle but powerful influence upon the development of American culture. Ethnicity and the American Cemetery, a volume comprised of eight original, individually commissioned essays, explores in detail the manner in which representative ethnic groups in America have made their cemeteries - the sites themselves, the material objects found within them, and the customary practices bound to both, a most powerful and eloquent voice for the expression of values and worldview inherent in their self-conscious awareness of their own special identity. Contributing authors illustrate the book's interdisciplinary focus, with representation from, among others, the fields of folklore, cultural history, historical archeology landscape architecture, and philosophy, heavily illustrated, the volume also features an introductory essay by editor Richard E. Meyer and an extensive annotated bibliography.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Eight original, commissioned essays explore how various American ethnic groups have made their cemeteries into powerful expressions of their values and world views, through siting, material objects, and funeral practices. Among the groups explored are Ukrainians, Scottish, Mexican and Native American, and Jewish. Well illustrated. No index. Paper edition (601-6), $16.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780879726010
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/1993
  • Series: Material Culture
  • Pages: 239

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Strangers in a Strange Land: Ethnic Cemeteries in America 1
Windows in the Garden: Italian-American Memorialization and the American Cemetery 14
Keeping Ukraine Alive through Death: Ukrainian-American Gravestones as Cultural Markers 36
Czech Cemeteries in Nebraska from 1868: Cultural Imprints on the Prairie 77
Scottish, Irish and Rom Gypsy Funeral Customs and Gravestones in Cincinnati 104
American Jewish Cemeteries: A Mirror of History 131
The Agua Mansa Cemetery: An Indicator of Ethnic Identification in a Mexican-American Community 156
The People of Rimrock Bury Alfred K. Lorenzo: Tri-Cultural Funerary Practice 173
Oriental and Polynesian Cemetery Traditions in the Hawaiian Islands 193
The Literature of Necroethnicity in America: An Annotated Bibliography 222
Contributors 238
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