ERIC Number: ED408988
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Wyoming Tombstone Symbolism: A Reflection of Western Culture.
Cochenour, John; Rezabek, Landra L.
Eleven cemeteries in Wyoming are examined for visuals pertaining to life in the West. The purpose is to demonstrate the importance of Western culture tradition evidenced through tombstone symbolism--representations of the activities and environments of the living through the memory provided by the deceased. The visual symbols found on the tombstones are presented in the following categories: environment, artifacts, and people. Environmental features that occurred most frequently were related to water, wind, wildlife, trees, wildflowers and mountains. The artifacts of Western culture represented on the tombstones centered on technologies that have been developed to cope with the Western environment, including homes, apparel, transport systems, mechanisms for protecting and identifying belongings, and methods for obtaining needed resources. In the category, people, the occupations most often reflected in the tombstone motifs were associated with agriculture, railroading, mining, and timber, as well as themes dealing with the lifework of the cowboy. As the tombstones represented in this study demonstrate, a society's culture is reflected in the memorial visuals that can be found in cemeteries. Thirty-one figures show tombstones from the three categories. (Contains 11 references.) (AEF)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Wyoming