The Influence of Feng Shui on Cemetery Design: A Spatial Analysis of the Chinese Cemetery in Victoria, BC




Dagg, Lyndsay

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The Chinese Cemetery at Harling Point in Victoria, BC is the oldest Chinese Cemetery in Canada and has been recognized as a National Historic Site since 1994. However, despite the cemetery’s huge cultural and historic importance, it is poorly documented and has been the site of very little research. What is known about the cemetery is that the site was chosen because of its feng shui – the Chinese philosophy of wind and water which guided the organization of Chinese people in life and death. However, despite studies on other Chinese Cemeteries in North America discussing the feng shui of graves within each cemetery, no mention is made of the role feng shui may have played in guiding the layout of the graves at the Chinese Cemetery at Harling Point. Thus, the goal of this research is twofold: one, to analyze the layout of the cemetery using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) from a spatial archaeology viewpoint; and two, to produce a digital map of the cemetery that can be made accessible to the public, as currently no map of the cemetery is available that can act as a resource for further preservation and research.



Cemetery, Chinese Cemetery, Chinese Diaspora, feng shui, Spatial Archaeology, GIS