Coupé and Leibmann
almost any Ashkenazi cemetery in the Western hemisphere during this era: most commonly, the star of David or a menorah. In contrast, the Sephardi sections of the old and new cemeteries (whether orthodox or reform) have their own distinctive burial style that has evolved slowly over the decades that includes many unusual iconographic elements, such as the forbidden images discussed above. These differences reflect a more general pattern noticed by Alan Benjamin amongst island Jews: Curaçao’s Sephardim see themselves as hudiu (Curaçaoan Sephardi), while Curaçao’s Ashkenazim see themselves as part of a subgroup of the larger worldwide Ashkenazi community, rather than a group defined by their relationship to Curaçao.23
Fig. 7. Map of Beit Haim, Berg Altena.
In contrast to the Ashkenazi section, the Sephardic burials in the Berg Altena Cemetery reflect a tradition has slowly evolved during the over three hundred and fifty years that Sephardic Jews have lived on the island. The main characteristics of this style are (1) flat table stones and later obelisks and gothic architecture (Fig. 1), (2) the frequent use of “forbidden” graven
Annual Journal of the Association for Gravestone Studies