Burial Customs



“Mrs. Benjamin J. Vines (Alice) Born April 13, 1909 Died June 4, 1949 A Faithful Woman   Faithful to B. J. Vines? It seemed an odd thing to put on a tombstone, but then everything about the white man’s burial customs seemed odd to Chee. The Navajos lacked this sentimentality about corpses. Death robbed the body of its value. Even its identity was lost with the departing chindi. What the ghost left behind was something to be disposed of with a minimum risk of contamination to the living. The names of the dead were left unspoken, certainly not carved in stone.”

People of Darkness (Navajo Mysteries Book 4) by Tony Hillerman