Field Guide


Not surprisingly, the most likely place to find corn on a tombstone is in America's heartland. Corn is one of the oldest harvested plants and has long been used as a symbol of fertility and rebirth and as a funerary symbol in Mediterranean as well Central American and Eastern cultures. In American Indian culture the seeds of an ear of corn (maize) represent all the people as well as all the things in the universe. The Aztecs had a number of corn gods, and in Peru a woman made of maize stalks represented fertility.

Taken from Stories in Stone: A Field Guide to Cemetery Symbolism and Iconography written and photographed by Douglas Keister, published by Gibbs Smith, Salt Lake City, 2004. This book is a must for every cemetery preservationist!!!