Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Death, Ritual, Ghost, Rites OF Passage, Passage, Sociology, Death Rituals, Community

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Published: 2021/03/29

The term ‘rites of passage’ refers to the rituals conducted during critical changes of an individual’s life, which includes birth, puberty and marriage. In the three phases of the rites of passage, while the first phase separates an individual from the initial state, the second phase holds the individual into a transitional state . On the other hand, the third phase incorporates the individual into a new state. The African death ritual is one of the famous and unique rituals structured as ‘rites of passage’. The ritual demonstrates an effort to counter the disruptive potential of death. In this ritual, the mourners separate the bereaved from the rest of the world thereby providing an opportunity of adjusting to the loss. The ritual centered on the corpse removes the individual from the collective and incorporates it into a new abode. Finally, the ritual that focuses on the ghost helps the dead individual to enter the community of the dead.
The African death rituals include mourning as the first phase, which is the separation phase. The mourning activities provide opportunities to express grief associated with feelings of sorrow, anger and distress. The termination of feelings, such as attachment and caring produces considerable distress. The process of mourning separates the dead person from his friends, family and relatives. The mourners limit their emotional expression by creating a dependent relationship between the bereaved and the rest present in the ritual arena. The second stage in the death ritual involved disposing the corpse, which resembles the transitional phase of the ‘rites of passage’. Following the rites of separation, the social group constructs the corpse and its resting place during the ritual. In this phase, the social group transits the corpse to the burial ground and buries it. While some groups place a part of their wealth in the graves, some others use it for extending the mourning rituals.
The final phase of the African death ritual involves dealing with the ghost. This ritual marks the third phase of the rites of passage, which is the incorporation phase . In this phase, the ritual surrounds the ghost or the spirit remnant of the deceased person. Since there is no evidence of the nature and existence of afterlife, the third phase still remains ambiguous. However, in the African culture, people believe in the nature of the afterlife and the relationship between the dead and the living. Ghost visitations during the death rituals are a sanction for the performance of the death rituals. Dealing with the ghosts creates a kind of fear in the social group and provides an opportunity for people to redistribute the roles and resources held by the deceased person. This phase also involves rituals, which transfer the ghost to the new world of the dead. The incorporation phase of the African death ritual symbolizes the prominence of fertility and rebirth.

Works Cited

Haviland, William A., et al. The Essence of Anthropology. 3rd ed. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning, 2012.

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WePapers. (2021, March, 29) Rites Of Passage Essay. Retrieved August 15, 2022, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/rites-of-passage-essay/
"Rites Of Passage Essay." WePapers, 29 Mar. 2021, https://www.wepapers.com/samples/rites-of-passage-essay/. Accessed 15 August 2022.
WePapers. 2021. Rites Of Passage Essay., viewed August 15 2022, <https://www.wepapers.com/samples/rites-of-passage-essay/>
WePapers. Rites Of Passage Essay. [Internet]. March 2021. [Accessed August 15, 2022]. Available from: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/rites-of-passage-essay/
"Rites Of Passage Essay." WePapers, Mar 29, 2021. Accessed August 15, 2022. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/rites-of-passage-essay/
WePapers. 2021. "Rites Of Passage Essay." Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. Retrieved August 15, 2022. (https://www.wepapers.com/samples/rites-of-passage-essay/).
"Rites Of Passage Essay," Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com, 29-Mar-2021. [Online]. Available: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/rites-of-passage-essay/. [Accessed: 15-Aug-2022].
Rites Of Passage Essay. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/rites-of-passage-essay/. Published Mar 29, 2021. Accessed August 15, 2022.

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