pineapple on tombstone #general


Herbert Lazerow
 

The pineapple and the scallop shell are both symbols of hospitality, but for
different reasons. The scallop shell is the symbol of St. James of Compostela. A
regular pilgrimage route was established in the middle ages >from Paris to
Compostela in the northwest corner of Spain with religious organizations providing
hospitality for pilgrims roughly a day's walk >from each other. The symbol
indicating a place where pilgrims could find food and lodging was the scallop
shell.

Pineapples, on the other hand, were extremely expensive fruits grown in the
tropics. Someone who was willing to offer guests a pineapple was both wealthy and
hospitable. It was popular to decorate stair bannisters with pineapple finials.

But it is unclear why one would put a pineapple on a tombstone. The cemetery is
not normally a place where hospitality is offered. Perhaps it was meant to suggest
that the deceased was hospitable during his life.
Bert
Herbert Lazerow
lazer@sandiego.edu

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