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Funeral workers’ experience with ‘contagious corpses’
Silvia Romio

The extremely high death rates in northern Italy during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic called for exceptional rules and suspension of funeral practices and burial rites. Additionally, forms of collective burial, typical of a wartime scenario, and mechanical methods and timing were reintroduced into the handling of corpses. Although several academic studies have highlighted how the absence of funeral ceremonies and ‘dignified burials’ has caused prolonged and deep suffering for the mourners and for many of the caregivers and health workers, few have so far focused on funeral workers. This article focuses on the intimate, emotional and ethical experiences of a group of funeral workers in northern Italy who handled COVID corpses and had to take the place of the mourners at the time of burial. Through an anthropological analysis of their oral memories, this work attempts to analyse their expressions of discomfort, frustration, fear and suffering.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
A sketch of a funerary ritual
Peter Robinson

In 1913, Sir Alan Gardiner published a brief paper about an ostracon that he had bought from an antiquities dealer in Luxor and subsequently donated to Manchester Museum. The ostracon carries an image of a funeral ritual taking place in and around a shaft tomb and its burial chamber, and represents a number of figures within the ceremony. Gardiner ascribed the piece to the pre-Ramesside period, but as there was no contemporary text upon it, there are few clues that can give the present-day scholar any idea of its purpose or what it actually depicts. This paper will evaluate the image drawn upon the ‘Manchester Funeral Ostracon’, and by breaking down the image into its component parts; it will attempt to assess the meaning of the drawing in relation to funerary ritual and architecture from the Theban necropolis, and to parallel images in the Book of the Dead, in order to investigate its purpose amongst the artwork and ritual of the New Kingdom.

in Mummies, magic and medicine in ancient Egypt
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Anne Byrne

Louis XV and Louis XVI has developed stunted by the overweening shadows of the colossal mythologies of Louis XIV and of the Revolution. Neither the funeral of Louis XV nor the coronation of Louis XVI presents the entrails of the French constitution, and we are not soothsayers to pick them over in order to discern the future. As set out in Chapter 2 above, an interpretation of subsequent events built on one man’s misrepresentation of Louis XV’s funeral rituals is bound to be flawed. Even if Louis XV’s corpse had been bundled away hastily from Versailles (which it was

in Death and the crown
Open Access (free)
Pollution, contamination and the neglected dead in post-war Saigon
Christophe Robert

ancestors, families disavow death – not the unavoidable facticity of death per se, but the decaying presence of the corpse. In the wake of funeral rituals, by means of names and photographs etched into headstones, the corpse is transformed into an ancestor, a principle of ideally unending filiation and descent (Hertz 1960: 77–9; Watson 1982). Oblivion, symbolised vividly by the growth of vines and vegetation over the tombs, is the return of something threatening, best forgotten, the materiality of decomposition – something that rituals, 66 Christophe Robert funerals

in Governing the dead
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Revolutionary Prophet of African Unity
Clinton Hutton

or the cosmological roots of freedom and Pan-Africanism. Enslaved Africans felt that the most likely way they could be free from slavery, was for their spirit-self, or soul to transmigrate. It was only with death that the spirit person was freed from his or her enslaved corporeal abode. With the proper funeral rituals, the spirit would go back to the ancestral homeland in Africa: free, sovereign and happy. The transmigration freedom complex did not disappear with the abolition of slavery or even with the coming of independence in the

in The Pan-African Pantheon
Rhe Gothic and death in Russian realism
Katherine Bowers

finds reassurance in his explanation. Similarly, although the peasants talk about their fears, staying overnight with the corpse is a necessary part of the peasants’ funeral ritual, and this sense of duty normalises the task for them. When the pilgrim comes across them, however, he becomes afraid to venture further through the woods alone, ostensibly because of the corpse. He

in The Gothic and death
Anne Byrne

funeral ritual. Inevitably, such heightened expectations were disappointed and no such revolution occurred. By the beginning of July, the unity of Orléans and Condé seemed no longer assured,70 and the pressure on their political stance increased as the ceremony drew nearer. On Friday 8 July, thanks to his inside sources, Ormesson heard that the catafalque would go ahead on 27 July with the new parlement. The interested public knew only two things with any certainty: that Orléans had presented a memorandum to the king; and that it had been passed to Maurepas.71 Signs and

in Death and the crown
Chinese practices of centring
Stephan Feuchtwang

of the boundaries by annual processions of the gods of local temples. Touring their boundaries, these processions of a statue of the god, ritually opened to be a receptive presence when newly installed in the temple and annually re-invited to be present, are like a military tour clearing the territory of malign influences. They enact an image of imperial authority. But imperial officials frequently denounced these festivals, as they also denounced the great expenditure on funeral rituals, part of the enactment of the social status of the mourners and its extension

in Framing cosmologies
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Cosmologies of substance, production, and accumulation in Central Mozambique
Bjørn Enge Bertelsen

fictional and the names of interlocutors here are anonymised in order to protect their identity in a highly politicised context. See also Sheldon (2002) for an overview of women’s work in rural and urban contexts in Mozambique. Significantly, they are also revealed in funeral rituals – such as the kubatidzana ritual of widow purification following a husband’s death. During kubatidzana and other rituals, maize meal signifies the household’s continued productive and re-productive capacities faced with the spectre of death (Bertelsen 2011). Cooking stones and their gendered

in Framing cosmologies
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Ceremony in history
Anne Byrne

; Bourdieu, La Noblesse d’Etat, 157. 33 For an exhaustive definition of la société des corps, see Roland Mousnier, Les Institutions de la France sous la monarchie absolue, volume 1 (Paris, 1974), chapter 10. 34 For a more recent pan-­European perspective on royal funeral rituals, see Juliusz A. Chrościcki, Mark Hengerer and Gérard Sabatier (editors), Les Funérailles princières en Europe, XVIe–XVIIIe siècle, three volumes (Paris, Rennes, 2012–15). 35 Many of Giesey’s essays are collected in the volume Rulership in France, Fifteenth to Seventeenth Centuries (Aldershot

in Death and the crown