The cemeteries in Šeduva area

Rita Garškaitė

Cemeteries, as an element of the landscape, a history of native land and a sacral space, constitute a place being one of the most respected and nursed. With villages disappearing, historical and political conditions changing, the old cemeteries of towns and villages become forlorn. Therefore it is important not only to describe the elements of old cemeteries survived, but also to study the cemeteries as a syncretic phenomenon of culture.

In 2001, UNESCO entered Lithuanian cross-making into the Non-material and Verbal Heritage Masterpiece List of the World Heritage. This encourage us even more to deal with the issues not only of cross making, their origin and decorations, but also with cemeteries a an important part of culture heritage.

During the 2011 expedition to Šeduva and its environs, 18 cemeteries operated and out of operation have been explored in the area of Šeduva Valsčius. Due to cultural multilayerness it is difficult to analyse the cemeteries. The investigation methods comprised the analyses of scientific literature, official documents, data from the Lithuanian National History Archive and factual material collected during the expedition to Šeduva area cemeteries. The present paper reveals some features of cemeteries in the Šeduva area, with prevailing monuments distinguished as well as grave decorations and texts on the tombstones defined.

Key words: cemetery, grave, tombstone, tombstone inscriptions.