Emmaste is the newest of the four former parishes of Hiiumaa. It was separated from the parish of Käina in the second half of the 19th Century. Until the completion of Emmaste Church in 1867, people who ha passed on were buried in Sõru Cemetery which is not in use any more.
According to a new practice of that time, Emmaste Cemetery was established some distance away from the church. The oldest graves are in the centre of the graveyard. Many graves are those of the church. The oldest graves are in the centre of the graveyard. Many graves are those of seamen and ship owners, local people have always been closely connected with the sea and sailing.
Also, many people who have established their name in the cultural history of Estonia come from around Emmaste. The cemetery is the final resting place of Torupilli-Juss (Juhan Maaker). who was a musician known also outside Estonia, and his nephew Torupilli-Sass (Aleksander Maaker) , and Maarja and Priidu Mänd- the parents of a writer Ain Kalmus (Evald Mänd), many distinguished schoolmasters and clerics of Hiiumaa also rest in Emmaste Cemetery.
What differentiates Emmaste cementery is the irregular direction of the graves: northeast-southwest. As a rule, the deceased are buried on an east-west orientation with the head to the West.
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