Tucson’s Alameda-Stone Cemetery (1860s-1881)
By Kristin J. Sewell
Identity is dynamic, built on gender, ethnicity, status and other complex social negotiations. In a cemetery, however, expression of identity is further complicated because it is ascribed to the dead by the living. The living may exert influence, may allude to or exaggerate affluence, may express desirable attributes or reject unwanted characteristics of the dead. In this way, mortuary behaviors of those left behind may inform on social restructuring. Tucson, Arizona experienced a growing Euroamerican presence during the period before the arrival of the transcontinental railroad, the event that ultimately led to cemetery’s closure. In this presentation, I examine how identity and community restructuring were expressed through mortuary behavior during the cemetery’s short period of use.