Pallbearer Girls

A photograph of eight girls, all dressed in white, carrying a white coffin. Judging by the stacks of hay in the field on the background, it appears to have been a beautiful, sunny day during late summer. The faces of the young women are stern and grieving – it is clear that the burden is heavy to carry, and not just physically. The rest of the funeral guests are standing behind them, watching.

Women are rarely seen as pallbearers. It is customary that this task is performed by the male relatives and close friends of the deceased. Apparently, however, there used to be at least one occasion in the past when it wasn’t unheard of that women would carry the coffin – when the deceased was a young woman, other young women would carry her on her last journey.

Finland, circa 1930. The exact date and location are unknown.

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