Title

“These Sculptur’d Lines”: An analysis of Protestant burial practices on St. Croix during the Danish Colonial Period (1733-1917)

Advisor

Zuckerman, Molly, K.

Committee Member

Galaty, Michael

Committee Member

Miller, Darcy Shane

Date of Degree

12-1-2019

Original embargo terms

Visible to MSU only for 3 Years||forever||12/15/2022

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access

Major

Applied Anthropology

Degree Name

Master of Arts

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures

Abstract

This study argues that there are temporally and socially observable trends present in a sample of Protestant cemeteries from St. Croix’s Danish Colonial Period, as evidenced by the analysis of gravestone characteristics including iconography, morphology, and epitaph. Specifically, gravestones within the sample became noticeably more simplistic in the mid-19th century, which directly reflects St. Croix’s economic decline following emancipation. Although the iconographic and morphological characteristics of the gravestones for men and women and children and adults are largely identical, the epitaphic inscriptions for these groups exhibit a great deal of differentiation. Through analysis of these epitaphs, we discover that society on St. Croix was extremely similar to that of Europe and North America, in which men inhabit the public sphere, women the private sphere, and children are recognized for their cultural importance and biological vulnerability. However, I posit that women, while limited in public autonomy, did possess a degree of authority over familial structure.

URI

https://hdl.handle.net/11668/16436

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