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Monday, October 30, 2006

San Francisco's Multilayered History

Andrew Galvan is curator of Mission Dolores, site of one of San Francisco's oldest cemeteries (backdrop, by the way, for a scene in Hitchcock's classic Vertigo).

When Mission Dolores cemetery opened in 1777, Ohlones were among the first to be buried there. By 1898, when the last grave was dug, some of the city's notable characters, including a mayor, volunteer firefighters and even vigilantes were buried -- on top of the Ohlones. That's what makes Galvan's latest project a bit ironic. Galvan [...] is finishing up the construction of an Ohlone-style tule house atop unmarked graves. The tent will replace a grotto (made out of tombstones) that stood until the mid-1990s.

"We're basically building a memorial to Indians on top of white people who in turn are on top of Indians," Galvan says. "That might be a first." [Link]

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