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Creating Graves and Graveyards

Creating Graves and Graveyards

(p.128) Chapter Seven Creating Graves and Graveyards
Gone to the Grave
Abby Burnett
University Press of Mississippi

Ozark cemeteries have been defined by location, types of grave markers and vegetation found there, as well as by certain traditions of respect. Customs and taboos governed where and when graves were dug. The custom of creating vaulted grave shafts, plus high water tables and frozen ground, made added work for the diggers. The Southern custom of creating scraped, mounded graves is discussed, as are the theories as to why cemeteries are situated where they are. Lowering the coffin and filling in the grave were also subject to tradition. The chapter concludes by examining the need to move graves, as well as the folk belief that the digging up, repositioning, and reburial of amputated limbs alleviated phantom limb pain.

Keywords:   Vaulted grave shafts, Scraped graves, Mounded graves, Siting cemeteries, Phantom limb pain

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