M.A. Theses: Laura Pasacreta, 2005

White Tigers and Azure Dragons: Overseas Chinese Burial Practices in the Canadian and American West

This thesis explores the archaeologicial signature at overseas Chinese burial grounds in the Canadian and American west. The primary objective is to trace Chinese death ritual practices from early Chinese dynasties through to the main diaspora from China in the late Qing Dynasty. It also examines the main influences in their new home that led to the adoption of new practices and eventual redefinition of traditional rites. A second objective was to examine material culture and landscape modifications visible at Wild Horse Creek Chinese Burial Ground in British Columbia. Patterns of distribution were established to determine the types of rituals practiced during its use. These patterns were compared to sites surveyed in contemporaneous Chinese burial grounds in British Columbia and the South Pacific. Research indicated that Chinese were maintaining internal traditional rites associated with placation of ancestors and adopted local symbols and cemetery styles for presentation to non Chinese communities.