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Worksheet: Mourning Art Matching

Many of the images carved into headstones, embroidered, drawn, or painted onto cloth and fired into dishware, had particular meaning to the citizens of the late 18th and 19th centuries in New England. Try matching the more common symbols to their meanings. You will check your accuracy through a search on this website and through class discussion.

1. Willow tree _____ Eden, return to Heaven
2. Cherub _____ Strength over evil
3. Urn _____ Life cut off in its prime
4. Stream _____ Citizen of Heaven
5. Garden _____ Cleansing grace
6. Crossbones and skull _____ Romantic image of death
7. Oak tree _____ Everlasting life
8. Angels _____ Death as the end of life
9. Fallen oak tree _____ Vessel for holding vital organs
10. Ferns _____ Humility
11. Evergreen tree _____ Resurrection
Try some of these, seen at the Old Albany Burying Ground:
12. Pointing hand _____ Voice of the spirit
13. Hour glass _____ Mortality
14. Skull with mouth _____ Heavenly reward
15. Shroud _____ Inevitability of time's passage
16. Crown _____ Divine harvest
17. Wheat in sheaves _____ Next level, heaven
18. Columns _____ Gates of heaven