Sunday, May 17, 2009

Symbolism Sunday

Just to mark your calendars, if you're in the Raleigh area this Saturday, May 23 and would like to go on a Monument Art and Symbolism tour at Historic Oakwood Cemetery, be sure to call the cemetery office and reserve your spot this week. The tour is from 3-5pm. Be sure to bring water! The Oakwood Cemetery office phone number is 919 832 6077.

Historic Oakwood Cemetery was founded in 1869 and is the permanent home to many of Raleigh's famous citizens, but it's much more then that. It's also the final beautiful resting place to average joe's and jane's, too! There's still over 200 years of burial space left. So come along on my tour, learn a lot about cemetery symbols AND pick your final resting place! :-)

To start our week off right, I've included a favorite cemetery symbol from a marker at Oakwood Cemetery. It's a simple one, but can mean 2 different things.

The photo is of a grave with 2 hands shaking. It can symbolize a hello or good bye, which makes sense, right, at a grave? The deceased is saying farewell to us, the living, as they depart on their next journey; or is saying hello to those they are greeting on the other side. But if you look closer at the cuffs on each of the hands, the meaning changes. In this example, the cuffs of one of the hands (on the left) is a frilly female cuff. The cuff on the right hand is more of a traditional suit or male cuff. This symbolizes that the deceased was married! Just like how in more modern sections of the cemetery we will see interlocking wedding rings to symbolize marriage, in the older part of Oakwood, earlier Americans also felt it was important to share the same information; they just used a different symbol!

So...enough with my cemetery symbols...don't forget to sign up for my tour! Have a great Sunday!

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