Tuesday, July 2, 2013

on funerary rituals

My fascination with funerary rituals (but not with death) must come from my anthropological sensibilities. As I often tell students, death is a biological event, but funerals are a cultural event (and this is the part that fascinates me). In other words, we all die, but how we handle the dead varies widely from culture to culture. The other day when I visited the National Museum of Natural History I came across an ornate wooden airplane. At first sight, I saw a KLM airplane and thought that I was looking at a sculpture commenting on modern African travel and Diaspora. Then I got closer. 

Click here to read and see an interesting article documenting Paa Joe's coffins. (Though I don't agree that these coffins are either crazy or bizarre, rather they are interesting, playful, and artful takes on the traditional coffin). 

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