Tag Archives: Cultural Perspectives

The Spirit of The Dead According To Ojibwe Beliefs

Lee Staples, Ojibwe spiritual leader, facilitates traditional funerals on the Mille Lacs and Fond du Lac Reservations

Lee Staples, a spiritual leader for the Mille Lacs Indian Reservation in Central Minnesota, says that one must understand Ojibwe beliefs about life in order to understand Ojibwe beliefs about death. “We have within us Anishinaabe spirit, and we just … Continue reading

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Customs for Mourning in the Muslim Community

How to help an Islamic friend who is grieving

We live in an increasingly multicultural society. At some point, you will probably have a loved one, friend, or co-worker of the Muslim faith who loses a loved one to death. Knowing Muslim mourning customs can help you be more … Continue reading

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Telling the Bees: A Medieval Funeral Tradition

A funeral tradition that reflects the central importance of bees in daily life and worldview

Bees were highly prized in Medieval Europe for their honey and wax. The honey was used as a sweetener and medicine, as well as the key ingredient in mead — a mildly alcoholic drink that was consumed for its nutritive … Continue reading

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The Ancient Practice of Sky Burial

How the nomads of Mongolia return their loved ones to the universe

For thousands of years, the nomads of Mongolia have roamed the steppes of Central Asia, carrying their belongings and setting up their tents, called “gers,” on the harsh, inhospitable land. One of the last remaining nomadic cultures on Earth, these … Continue reading

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Suspended Burials in China

A fascinating and beautiful tradition that left coffins suspended on cliff sides

There are countless unique and fascinating burial and death traditions across the world. But one that is especially intriguing — and quite beautiful — is the practice of suspended burials. This form of “burial” was practiced by the Bo people of … Continue reading

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The Ars Moriendi, or “The Art of Dying”

A Medieval manual for death and dying

The Ars Moriendi (“The Art of Dying”) are two Latin texts dating back to 1415 and 1450, written to guide Christians through the process of “dying well,” according to Christian tenets of the late Middle Ages. The books inform the … Continue reading

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