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Zombies Bodies without souls A corpse that has been raised from the grave and animated Most closely related with Haitian Vodou –Not to be feared. Fated.

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Presentation on theme: "Zombies Bodies without souls A corpse that has been raised from the grave and animated Most closely related with Haitian Vodou –Not to be feared. Fated."— Presentation transcript:

1 Zombies Bodies without souls A corpse that has been raised from the grave and animated Most closely related with Haitian Vodou –Not to be feared. Fated to live a life of slavery on a plantation. –Wade Davis, The Serpent and the Rainbow Together with Haitian psychiatrist, Dr. Lamarque Douyon, tracked down and recreated Zombie Powder, a type of powder that (allegedly containing pieces of dried puffer fish) causes the victim to appear dead. ayer/places/culture-places/food/japan_pufferfish.html ayer/places/culture-places/food/japan_pufferfish.html Davis emphasized the role of a powerful priest in depriving a person of their will, and psychologically helping to create this “zombification” process. –In Haitian Vodou, the part of the soul able to be controlled by this priest is the ti-bonaj or their personality/individuality.

2 Death Rituals Funeral Rituals –Mainly done to comfort the living, while providing a way for the soul to remove itself from the community. Murngin of Australia –Dying person is surrounded by wailing, singing mourners attempting to comfort him/her. Men tend more towards expressions of revenge, while women display grief, cutting their heads with sharp sticks. Ancient Egypt –Professional mourners would be hired to walk behind the coffin of the Pharaoh, wail and tear at their hair. Tana Torajans of Indonesia –Sadness and anger thought to be disruptive to interpersonal relationships and bad for one’s health. Only during specific times at a funeral are public displays of grief appropriate. Nuer of East Africa –Body is quickly buried and the grave obliterated so that the ghost does not cause problems for the living. Dani of New Guinea –The ghost is seen as a particular problem and elaborate rituals are performed to appease the ghost and allow it to move on. –Disposal of the Body Depends on cultural perceptions of an individual’s corporeal self –Secondary Burials –Cremation –Mummification –19 th century U.S. culture –Present-day U.S. culture

3 Burials and Secondary Burials Burials –The most common disposal method. Sometimes the body may be buried quickly and not carry much meaning, as with the Nuer of East Africa. More often, the body is elaborately buried: Burial by Pyre: warriors who die in battle. “Vikings” and the Viking Funeral: –Thus he (Odin) established by law that all dead men should be burned, and their belongings laid with them upon the pile, and the ashes be cast into the sea or buried in the earth. Thus, said he, every one will come to Valhalla with the riches he had with him upon the pile; and he would also enjoy whatever he himself had buried in the earth. For men of consequence a mound should be raised to their memory, and for all other warriors who had been distinguished for manhood a standing stone; which custom remained long after Odin's time. (excerpt from Ynglinga Saga) Burial under/near dwelling or special preparation of the body was also common –Ancient Egypt Predynastic (pre-3,000 B.C.E.) non-elite burials: »Deceased wrapped in a shroud, placed in a small wooden coffin. Secondary Burials –Often marks the end of the mourning period. Commonly involves, digging up, processing and reburying the body in some way. Sometimes thought that what happens to the body also happens to the soul Murngin of Australia –After 2-3 months (or more) body is exhumed, bones are washed of any remaining flesh. Cleaned bones are placed in a bundle and watched over for several months, then taken out, smashed up and placed into a log which is then left to rot. –A finger or other small bone may be saved as a relic for the family »An object of religious veneration, especially a piece of the body or a personal item of religiously important person, such as an ancestor or saint.

4 Cremation Funerary practice of burning the body. Practiced for a variety of reasons: –A way to destroy the corpse, so ghost cannot haunt the living. –Reaction to the indignity of the decay process. –Economically cheaper than burial. Yanomamö: Body is decorated, burned on a pyre in the middle of the community. Smoke is thought to be contaminating so all children and the sick leave the village during cremation. Bits of teeth and ashes saved in a hollow log to be crushed and consumed in a soup later on. –The Yanomamö are Endocannibalistic anthropophagers meaning that they eat the bodies of their own people.


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