The Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Simon Fraser University
You can see differences in modern cemeteries too.
 Large gravestones or decorations in a cemetery often mean that
the person in the grave had a lot of money when he or she was alive.
Small gravestones in cemeteries that you and I see often mean
that the person in the grave wasn't really rich or famous.
Can you think of any really huge cemetery monuments in cemeteries that
you have seen? Some have big angels and decorations that make them
really stand out. This shows that the person who died must have
had a lot of money. Other graves are big and decorated because the
person was well known or famous.  Just think of Jimi Hendrix or
Bruce Lee or Karl Marx's graves.
As we run out of land on this planet, some people are making the decision
before they die that they do not want to take up much space.  For this
reason, some people choose to be cremated or choose a small grave.
A lot of these decisions have to do with the 'cultural perception of the land'.
This means how people who live in an area think about the land that they live in.
Some people take their land for granted. Others work hard to keep their world and the earth they live on a nice place.
Why don't you take an afternoon to visit a cemetery?
Walk through it, and notice the differences in graves.  Sometimes you see
huge monuments, other times you don't see any.
Mozart (a great musician) doesn't even have a grave, but
 he was pretty rich and well known (though not at the time of his death).
Sometimes you see graves of people who you have never even
heard of that are huge with urns and angels and carvings.
Can you think of reasons for these differences?
Along the Fraser River and East Coast of Vancouver Island
in British Columbia, some people were buried in very big graves,
like the mounds that we see at DhRl 16.
Other people, were buried in graves made out of rocks piled together.
But sometimes, people were buried very simply.
So, differences existed then too.
Can you think of reasons for these differences?
 As you have learned modern cemeteries share some similarities
with old ones on the Northwest Coast.  Many of the differences that
we see have to do with a persons rank or status in society, how well
respected or well known they are or how much wealth (money) they have.
Sometimes the differences also have to do with people's
cultural perception of the land - how they understand it.
That's pretty neat!
  Take me back to DhRl 16!