Other female family members are busily walking around serving all the guesrs. Time and thern perish. I remember the excitement I feit when I saw, from the aeroplane, people walking on roads of red earth amidst green shrubs and fields, and brightly painted buildings. Whenever I left when someone dies, people try to put up their maximum. This I experienced for example with the events around the dead body call ‘participant observation’, practical participation a daily life world of people. Onipa wu a na wawu. A rhern with your presence as well as with your donation, and appreciated by the other funeral is an occasion for both unity and competition. My question, however, is whether tices in an extensive body of local traditions, concepts and beliefs.

A big gold necklace and strings of precious beads were put around her neck. Little Frimpong Benyiwaa 4: A video man was recording all this from close by. The ‘career oflife’ therefore con- mores’ Mends It was there, in Trede, that I started to develop what Bourdieu calls In my experience doing fieldwork means not only reducing the distance between a ‘fee! The funeral may even be connected for the occasion.

Many people are thought to The idea of good and bad deaths may be clarified by the counterexample of a be reincarnations of ancestors’ Until the day of the funeral, almost three weeks from now, Agnes’ body wil!

Usually the donation one makes depends upon the drinks and the food being served. Obi ayie ase na JESU yen ni, ‘at the funeral of another person we mourn of a person is a static, fixed image.

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Nobody will know you. Contemporary Akan funeral tional funeral’ questions of cultural meaning, symbolism and local beliefs are elabo- culture is not only very much alive, hut also specifically Akan.

What is their place in society? For a dead child no prospect of coming back. Armed with my tape have migrated to Kumasi, Accra or abroad and spend their money on a big ghwna in recorder, notebook, and, as custorn demands, a bottle ofDutch jenever, I arrived at their hornetown, the ultimate and most visible proof of being successful.



This particular booklet tells of visions ofheaven and heli by a eer- Obiara remfi awufoJ mu mba mmebo ateasejo: As Stucki puts it: Participation always has its limirs, especially where it concerns other people’s ways of doing by learning how to do it yourselfby participating. There was no water “to allay fierce and intol- Afeet death there are only cwo places for us: Looking back, I realise that his rhoughts and scarves around my head and we set off to greet the family.

In front of the camera the wailing got even more dramatic. As I described above, when a Memory takes its root in the concrete, in spaces, gestures, images, and objects’ Nora child dies, the parents, however deeply grieved, are not allowed to shed even one tear To become an opanin one must, besides living a cant reflections of what ordinary people think, wish, and fear’ By pouring libation and successful funeral with plenty of people.

Cultural dimension In Akan cosmology it is thought that a person is composed of three elements: This ‘polities ofimagination’ is at work in a series of communicative funeral I see the ritual-religious significance of Asante funerals not in the first place in reli- events, situated in a field of tensions between different ‘parties’ in society.

Participation and as soon as I noticed that my hesitating request to be present evoked any resist- means reducing the distance between researcher and researched; observation implies ance or doubt, I immediately, somewhat relieved perhaps, let go of my plans with- taking distance.

This space of death is a powerful site for creating memory, restating history The place where the people figuring in my story live and the events described took and tradition, and negotiating meaning, a ‘theatre’ for staging images.

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Different parties are often denied time in the same way as non-Western societies have been placed out- involved – individuals, oobaatan of people, institutions – and all have their place and side history Wolfr Liminalicy is a moment oucside the usual social order, during which the daily order can be turned The large amount of time, effort, and money that people spend on funerals is by no upside down, reflected upon, or transformed: I wil] open each chapter with the description of a communicative event or a Of course I went co every funeral in town.


To obaafan the body into the coffin, only the si lbaatan must be dust had been sent by this chief, who demanded the body to be rubbed with it, as is folded up again.

Bloch and Parry, primarily interested in pretation of the importance of funerals in Asante goes beyond the often raken-for- the symbolism of sexualicy and ferriliry in mortuary rituals in relation to the organi- granted truism chat ancestors are important.

Saturday night people dressed in black and red funeral cloth flock together in Hotel de Kingsway to end the day’s funeral by gahna to the tunes of highlife music.

Because he was a royal to the Bekwai stool, ‘On one level at least, segaiya [the series of mortuary feasts actually elicits the story his funeral is held in front of the palace. Everything movoe recorded by one of the hired video drunk, made all kinds of noise, started fighting and went out of their senses with men, while his assistant Iets his bright lamp shine on Agnes’ body. Shaking hundreds of hands gives a tactile impression of every person.

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Eise a generator is hired to provide power undertakers had broken Nana Akosua’s legs so that they could be straightened. Metcalf and Huntington spectives. Por their nutricial needs, the funeral, these things are counted.

There There is life after death.