functions of funerals retrieving life force alleviating loss re settling souls l.
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FUNCTIONS OF FUNERALS: RETRIEVING LIFE FORCE, ALLEVIATING LOSS, RE-SETTLING SOULS. February 26, 2001. Some strong emotions associated with death. Fear Loss Guilt. Fears provoked by death. Fear of the precariousness of individual life Fear of the precariousness of collective life.

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functions of funerals retrieving life force alleviating loss re settling souls

FUNCTIONS OF FUNERALS: RETRIEVING LIFE FORCE, ALLEVIATING LOSS, RE-SETTLING SOULS

February 26, 2001

fears provoked by death
Fears provoked by death
  • Fear of the precariousness of individual life
  • Fear of the precariousness of collective life
the cultural response to social fear of death
The cultural response to social fear of death
  • Distinguish between soul and life-force
  • Life-force can be retrieved and recycled
  • Funerals are the way to retrieve this life force
funerals and the retrieval of life force
Funerals and the retrieval of life force
  • The dead transmit life force to land (Gimi, Laymi, Bara)
  • Life force retrieved for rebirth of humans
    • proximity to the corpse creates fertility
    • rituals that remind the soul to release life force for the fertility of the living
    • the dead person becomes baby spirit
the emotion of loss
The emotion of loss
  • The emotion of loss/abandonment is nearly universal (example of Kaguru)
  • The cultural response: belief the dead as amenable to continued interaction with the living (Kaguru, Lugbara)
  • Funerals function partly to transform unhappy, unsettled souls into settled, happy ancestors
the ambivalence of the living the emotion of guilt
The ambivalence of the living: the emotion of guilt
  • The guilt of the living
  • the anger, resentment of the dead
  • the need of funerals to deal with both
    • prove the living take no pleasure on the death
    • get the dead soul to be resigned to its new state
the example of the berawan borneo
The example of the Berawan (Borneo)
  • The function of mourning
  • treatment of the dead
  • passage to the land of the dead
your own experience of funerals
Your own experience of funerals?
  • Funerals and the “cycle of life”?
  • Continued interaction and comfort?
  • The reduction of guilt, the production of resignation?