Glasnik Etnografskog instituta SANU 2009 Volume 57, Issue 1, Pages: 239-252
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Marble tabula in Belgrade: Commemoration plates dedicated to perished ones
There is an ancient Balkans tradition of building commemoration plates dedicated to perished ones. This actually represents twofold belief, one being that a deceased should rest on his/hers own soil and an attempt to mark a place of someone's death. All were performed with an aim to prolong memory and reminiscence of the deceased. In 19th century Serbia and especially so at the beginning of the 20th century it became popular to build such commemoration plates dedicated to soldiers who have died abroad. In the second half of the 20th century, there are sporadic commemoration plates near roads, not as a designation for an unknown grave but to mark down a place where someone has died, most often in a car accident. At the crossroads of the century, however, this custom was very frequent. Belgrade has also seen many of these commemoration plates. The studying of ways and shapes of this custom is the main subject of this paper. The author tries to follow all changes ranging from those induced by the state to those very rare private commemoration plates placed on certain buildings, including those left to decay, or those maintained regularly, on street lights, near cressets at grave yards, flowers, granite plates etc. The paper also discusses possible causes, frequencies and changes related to this custom.
Keywords: marble, monument plates near roads, commemoration plates, flowers, grave plate