Read e-book online Becoming an Ancestor: The Isthmus Zapotec Way of Death PDF

By Anya Peterson Royce

ISBN-10: 1438436777

ISBN-13: 9781438436777

A outstanding examine the loss of life rituals of an indigenous group in North the US.

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Extra resources for Becoming an Ancestor: The Isthmus Zapotec Way of Death

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On that last day, visitors come and are given tamales and bread. The family offering the altar and the prayers does not eat any of the food. When the altar is taken down, all the food on it is sorted into separate portions, which are sent to those women who had come to pray (see chapter 6 for the extended discussion of these Day of the Dead practices). What makes the Isthmus Zapotec unique is their observance of Day of the Dead in their homes, rather than in the cemeteries as is the case in the rest of Mexico.

Perhaps the clearest demonstration is the reciprocity involved in the dead being invited to the homes of the living on Day of the Dead and the living being invited to the homes of the dead during Holy Week. There is no difference between this and the reciprocal feasting that takes place continually among the living. How much the dead are treated as members of the community can be seen in the ways in which children or young, unmarried adults are acknowledged in death. In both these cases, fireworks accompany the body and livelier sones are played to take the place of the wedding that they will not have.

The Foro Ecológico (Ecological Forum) has begun a program of breeding and raising iguanas to bring their numbers back to the abundance of an earlier time. Foro personnel also instruct Juchitecos on how to raise their own iguanas. Tame or Town Cultivated land, the town, domestic animals (cows, pigs, cats, dogs, domesticated birds such as chickens and turkeys), Western medicine, cultivated flowers usually 16 BECOMING AN ANCESTOR trucked in from Puebla of Mexico City—these, in addition to innovations such as movies, videos, computers and Internet cafes—are all town things.

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Becoming an Ancestor: The Isthmus Zapotec Way of Death by Anya Peterson Royce


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