Funerals in Africa: Explorations of a Social Phenomenon

Funerals in Africa: Explorations of a Social Phenomenon

By: Michael Jindra (editor), Joel Noret (editor)Hardback

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Across Africa, funerals and events remembering the dead have become larger and even more numerous over the years. Whereas in the West death is normally a private and family affair, in Africa funerals are often the central life cycle event, unparalleled in cost and importance, for which families harness vast amounts of resources to host lavish events for multitudes of people with ramifications well beyond the event. Though officials may try to regulate them, the popularity of these events often makes such efforts fruitless, and the elites themselves spend tremendously on funerals. This volume brings together scholars who have conducted research on funerary events across sub-Saharan Africa. The contributions offer an in-depth understanding of the broad changes and underlying causes in African societies over the years, such as changes in religious beliefs, social structure, urbanization, and technological changes and health.

About Author

Michael Jindra is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology and a visiting research scholar in the Center for the Study of Religion and Society at the University of Notre Dame. He has published in journals such as Africa, Sociology of Religion, Anthropological Forum, and Society and has also contributed chapters to a number of books. His current research focuses on the connection between lifestyle diversity, culture, and inequality in the US. JoA"l Noret is Assistant Professor of anthropology at the Universite libre de Bruxelles, Belgium. He has been conducting fieldwork in southern Benin since the beginning of the 2000s. His publications include the co-edited special issue of Gradhiva, Memoire de l'esclavage au BeninA" (with Gaetano Ciarcia, 2008), and his monograph, Deuil et funerailles dans le Benin meridional. Enterrer a tout prix (Brussels, 2010), and Mort et dynamiques sociales au Katanga (with Pierre Petit, Paris, 2011).


List of Illustrations Foreword Jan Vansina Introduction: Funerals in Africa. An Introduction Michael Jindra and JoA"l Noret Chapter 1. African Funerals and Sociocultural Change: A Review of Momentous Transformations across a Continent Michael Jindra and JoA"l Noret Chapter 2. A Decent Death: Changes in Burial in Bulawayo Terence Ranger Chapter 3. Kikuyu Transformation of Death in Kenya: From Hyenas to Tombs Yvan Droz Chapter 4. Decomposing Pollution? Corpses, Burials, and Affliction among the Meru of Central Kenya Mark Lamont Chapter 5. The Rise of Death Celebrations in the Cameroon Grassfields Michael Jindra Chapter 6. Funerals and Religious Pluralism in Burkina Faso Katrin Langewiesche Chapter 7. Funerals and the Religious Imagination: Burying and Honoring the Dead in the Celestial Church of Christ (Southern Benin) JoA"l Noret Chapter 8. Of Corpses, Clay, and Photographs: Body Imagery and Changing Technologies of Remembrance in Asante Funeral Culture Marleen de Witte Chapter 9. Funerals and Fetish Interment in Accra, Ghana Jonathan Roberts Notes on the Contributors Bibliography Index

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780857452054
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 264
  • ID: 9780857452054
  • ISBN10: 0857452053

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