Tribal Burial Ground

One day while exploring around Bishop, I came across Sunland Indian Reservation burial grounds. I often visit graveyards and this lonely, windy place was no exception. The Sunland Indian Reservation takes up around 850 of the driest acres I’ve ever seen west and south of Bishop. The Paiutes and Shoshones both live around Bishop, and even though I looked for the Tribal Elder Building, I didn’t find it in order to verify which of these ethnic groups inhabit the reservation. My feeling is they both use this cemetery.

Cemetery Gate

When I arrived, a woman was painting a large cross. I assumed someone had recently died, but no, she was honoring a man who died in 1972, she brought fresh white roses to this barren, hot place.

There were many unmarked graves, simply mounds – perhaps with stones surrounding, or a worn wooden cross, or nothing. Power lines buzzed because high tension towers run across the land about 50′ behind the cemetery. There is no water to fill vases for the flowers.

This whole grave was neatly raked. Since it doesn’t rain often here, the wind would be the first element that would cause signs of wear.

The picture below is Bishop Cemetery, about two miles northeast of Sunland Cemetery.

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