July 16, 2008

Comparing burial practices

As part of my Hillside Memorial Park posting, let's talk about burial practices.

If you think about it, it's kind of funny that the Judeo-Christians who colonized America thought the Indians had strange burial practices. If you went through my photos, you probably could identify dozens of superstitious or "magical" burial practices.

Let's compare traditional burial practices. Traditionally, most Indians didn't bury a body with a marker or try to memorialize the person. They assumed that once a person was dead, the spirit fled the body and the remains were no longer important.

In contrast, Judeo-Christians cling to bodies as if they're holy relics. And they cling to holy relics as if they literally can perform magic. A body is something over which they mutter prayers as if they're incantations. Perhaps they think the spirit is hovering nearby to answer questions or grant wishes.

You tell me which approach seems more rational.

For more on the subject, see Indian Burial Grounds.

Below:  A typical superstitious ritual.

1 comment:

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
There is an old joke about Native burial practices versus EuroMan burial practices. White settlers are burying a respected member of their community at the same time that their Native neighbors are burying a respected warrior. The EuroMen watch as an elevated burial platform is constructed, then as the warrior's horse is put to death and placed under the platform, and then again as skinbags of water and platters of food are placed beside the horse. The EuroMen bury their dead with earth and then put many garlands of flowers atop the grave. One cowboy hollers over, "Hey, Chief! When is your relative going to ride that horse and eat all that food?"
To which the Plainsman replies, "Oh, just about the same time your man gets up to smell all those flowers!"
All Best
Russ Bates