The Commercialization of the Funeral Ritual and New Roles of Local Ritual Specialists
Type of publication: Research Article
funeral ritual, ritual services, ritual specialists
The article discusses the transformations that have occurred in rural funeral rituals within the last decades due to the emergence of new actors who have to establish relations not only with the relatives of the deceased but also with the ritual specialists. Over the course of the 20th century in the Central Russian region, as a consequence of the lack of priests and proper ritual services, the part of ritual specialists was traditionally played by women elders who prepared the body for burial. The recent proliferation of organizations providing ritual services has raised an issue of splitting spheres of infl uence between these new actors and folk ritual specialists such as women elders and priests. It might seem that spheres of their activities should not necessarily intersect and come into conflict; yet they actually often do.
Sokolova, A.D. 2014. The Commercialization of the Funeral Ritual and New Roles of Local Ritual Specialists. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 2: 14-25
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