Why Greenlanders Don’t Have Epitaphs on Their Gravestones

It’s a cultural trait, an artifact of their native heritage, completely understandable in this context. Who started the idea of the epitaph anyway ?
I’m donating my body to medical science, so – ** presumably ** no epitaph for me. Donating my remains seems more sensible than pumping it full of preservatives then displaying like a badly – done wax dummy in a box that will only be seen once – Unless a future archeologist dug it up.


Nothing is set in stone, except of course your epitaph. In a recent essay for Aeon, Tom Pitock mused on the difficulty of writing his own father’s epitaph, and why we etch words on tombstones to remember people we loved. But not every culture uses epitaphs, as Pitock learned in Greenland:

It took real effort to find the cemetery in Lower Burma, but in Greenland, the world’s largest island, it was impossible to miss it. The capital city, Nuuk, has just 17,000 people, with a mere 39,000 more concentrated in settlements across the rest of the of the country. New graves are decorated with ebullient arrangements of artificial flowers, which, when they wither, are not replaced. ‘We do not visit graves,’ said Salik Hard, whom I met while travelling there. ‘Once a person is gone, we go on to the future.’

And because of that, Greenlanders don’t use epitaphs, not even names.

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Author: danielrappletonyahoocom

Science - fiction, fantasy, horror & suspense ( But not really " nerd / geek " material ), armchair cultural anthropologist, interested in archaeology ( Although the closest I've been to an actual dig - site was Pinson Mounds outside Memphis ), & interested in the obscure, strange or sometimes things that would bore or put off other people.

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