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Gainer Historical Cemetery: A Modern Reconnection to a "Lost" Cultural Landscape Not Actually Forgotten.

Author(s): Melissa Timo

Year: 2013

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The African American Gainer Historical Cemetery is located along the border of Washington and Bay Counties in Florida’s panhandle.  An African American community has utilized this liminal space since the arrival of settlers in 1825.  The cemetery contains evidence of the persistent use of old African-style customs, such as the utilization of traditional funerary material culture. Conflict and migration in the 19th and 20th centuries physically distanced the freedmen and their descendants from the cemetery, which may be considered the lasting manifestation of their long-held cultural traditions.   Upon legally reclaiming the cemetery in the 21st century, the modern descendants expressed a fear of disconnection from their ancestors and this nearly forgotten sacred landscape.  The eager descendants sought out archaeologists to reclaim their proud history.  Historical and archaeological research in conjunction with oral histories empowered the community as they learned that their cultural past was not as lost as once thought.

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Cite this Record

Gainer Historical Cemetery: A Modern Reconnection to a "Lost" Cultural Landscape Not Actually Forgotten.. Melissa Timo. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Leicester, England, U.K. 2013 ( tDAR id: 428660)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 512

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America