Commemoration Ceremonies among the Datoga in the Context of the Unified Social Space of the Living and the Dead: An Ethological Analysis
[Pominal’nye tseremonii u datoga v kontekste edinogo sotsial’nogo prostranstva zhivykh i mertvykh: etologicheskii analiz]
Type of publication: Research Article
ancestral cult, East Africa, Datoga, bungeda, communication between the living and the dead, funeral rites, ancestral spirits, ancestral commemoration ritual
In an African society, the veneration of ancestors is an integral part of the religious, cultural, and social spheres. According to beliefs of the Africans, the ancestors are able to provide them and the whole community with a safe and healthy life, and warn them of an impending danger; for this, however, it is necessary to honor them and regularly hold commemoration ceremonies. The article describes in detail the rituals of commemoration among the Datoga – in this culture, they are differentiated in accordance with the sex and social status of the deceased, their position in the family hierarchy and the network of kinship ties. Observations of the interactions of different age groups during bungeda make it possible to better represent the structure of Datoga’s modern society. Fearing to anger their ancestors, the Datoga demonstrate group responsibility, which helps maintain moral norms within and outside the community, preserve values and improve the well-being of the whole community.
Funding InformationThis research was supported by the following institutions and grants: Russian Science Foundation, https://doi.org/10.13039/501100006769 [grant no. 18-18-00082]
Butovskaya, M.L., and D.A. Dronova. 2019. Pominal’nye tseremonii u datoga v kontekste edinogo sotsial’nogo prostranstva zhivykh i mertvykh: etologicheskii analiz [Commemoration Ceremonies among the Datoga in the Context of the Unified Social Space of the Living and the Dead: An Ethological Analysis]. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 1: 42-64. https://doi.org/10.31857/S086954150004179-6
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