Tag Archives: Cultural perspectives on death

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

Posted in Cultural Perspectives | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Cultural Perspectives | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Teaching of The Ancient Yew Tree

How this tree has come to symbolize death in pagan cultures

The Yew tree is a species of evergreen conifer native to western, central, and southern Europe, northern Iran, southwest Asia and northwest Africa. Because of their toxic leaves and berries, yews were a symbol of death and rebirth in pre-Christian pagan … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Perspectives | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ikipalin: The Dani Finger Amputation Ritual

The Dani of New Guinea traditionally practiced finger amputation when mourning the loss of loved one

The experience of grief is an intensely physical one; grief is often accompanied by sleep disturbances, loss of appetite, digestive disruptions and cardiac problems.  There are cultural practices around the world that believe intentional physical pain is an important part … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Perspectives | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Memorial Diamonds for a Diamond Burial

Swiss company Algordanza will turn cremation ashes into man-made diamonds

A company in Switzerland has given new meaning to the sentiment that we carry the dead with us. Algordanza makes carrying your dead with you literally a possibility with their “memorial diamonds.” The Swiss company will compress your loved one’s … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Perspectives | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Turning of the Bones in Madagascar

A look at famadihana, a joyous celebration of life and death in Madagascar

In Madagascar, the Malagasy people engage in a unique and beautiful tradition called “famadihana.” This translates to “the turning of the bones,” and it is a ritual steeped in history and joy. During “famadihana,” which occurs every two to seven years, the … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Perspectives | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment