Tag Archives: African funeral customs

The Evolution of After-Tears Parties in South Africa

More young people are bucking tradition and mourning loved ones in their own way

Traditions aren’t static. They constantly warp and evolve with every new generation. This is especially true in South Africa, as younger generations living in urban areas have adopted a brand new burial tradition: after-tears parties. An after-tears party is a time … Continue reading

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Professional Pallbearers Dance the Dead Out in Style

Cross-continental tradition honours the dead with coffin choreography

If you attend a funeral in parts of West Africa and the Southern United States, you may witness some fancy footwork by professional pallbearers who specialize in dancing with the dead. These dancing pallbearers often sing gospel or other sacred … Continue reading

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Ghanian Funeral Fabrics Symbolize Attitude Toward Death

Colorful funeral attire tells story of relationship to ancestors

Ghanian funerals are notable for their festive nature and the fact that they are spread over several days, usually on weekends. Sometimes called “celebrations of life” or “funeral parties,” they usually include official mourning with tears profusely shed, prayers, sometimes … Continue reading

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Kifudu Funeral Dance of the Giriama People

This African dance brings communities together to send spirits of loved ones to ancestral realms

The Giriama are an agricultural and hunter-gatherer sub-group of the larger Mijikenda ethnic group who live along the coast of Kenya. One of the distinguishing features of their cultural and spiritual life — and a main reason why they were able … Continue reading

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When Convenience Meets Funerals

Drive-thru funerals slowly becoming an option geared towards African-Americans in the US

Americans relish the freedom to choose how to cope with the deaths of loved ones as well as the types of funerals with which honor them. It’s hardly surprising that a culture which embraces any new convenience, such as fast … Continue reading

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