A Comparison of the Wari and My Culture Funeral Practice - Essay Example

Published: 2022-12-16
A Comparison of the Wari and My Culture Funeral Practice - Essay Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Culture Community
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1845 words
16 min read


Among the Wari, the preparation of the body is done by close relatives. The females are responsible for feeding visitors. On the other hand, their male counterparts are the ones involved in beckoning people to show up at the funeral. Funeral activities take place at the house of senior kin of the departed. The corpse is centrally placed that is, mourners surround the deceased mourning in different forms. The encompasses songs and little cries as well as words directed to the departed. Incorporated into the wailings and mourns are the shared experiences and acts of kindness that defined the departed (Pettigrew 337). In the event of the ceremony, mourners are involved in a continuous chanting and prolonged expression of sorrow and grief. The illustrations are high pitched making their sounds be bounced back from the neighboring forest. Relatives of the deceased hold tightly, hug and lean on the corpse as they grief a sign of identifying with it. In other instances, close relatives make a stuck whereby they pile themselves from top to bottom placing the corpse at the top. The practice is in a bid to die together with the corpse. That is to keep company the corpse in the environment of the dead. The body is then handed over to the elders dismembered, roasted with the inner parts removed, roasted and eaten while the remnant meat is cremated. The deceased belongings are burnt down to ashes, and crops are burnt, discarded or given away while items that can't burn down are given to non-relatives (Biterman 7).

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However, in my community, the body of the deceased is prepared by close friends and family members. When washing the body the corpse head is made to face southward, and a concoction of milk, yogurt, and ghee or at times purified water is used. Oil is lit, and the deity of the deads favorite deity is placed on the dead head.as the body is being washed people recite mantras and toes tied together while arms are placed palm to palm to assume the position of prayer. The dead body is then laid on a plain white sheet. The ceremony is usually conducted by a Hindu priest and senior members of the family. The body is transferred to the floor and laid on the grass. The casket is kept open although mourners are not allowed to touch the corpse. The body is held at home awaiting cremation which is effected in twenty-four hours. The ashes poured on the deceased parts that are considered sacred. During the funeral service, mourners dressed in white or casually Biterman 7). The sources of reading are the mantra while services like fire sacrifices are made to ancestors and gods. The deceased clothes are burnt, and some of the items that the deceased was more attached to are given to deserving spiritual organizations.

A Comparison of the Way the Wari and My Community Dispose of the Body of the Deceased

Commonly, the Wari would eat up the flesh of the deceased until dawn while the remaining flesh is left for cremation. However, the bones would either be ground to form a meal or mixed with honey for consumption. In some instances, the dead bones would be burnt up or crushed and covered underground. In both instances, clay pots, the remnants of the fire and the racks used for roasting are ground, pounded to dust, burnt and buried in situ. The burying of these items is usually assigned to affine helpers mainly male. Affine helpers would then sweep the ground where the ritual has taken place to wipe off any evidence of funeral .in return the helpers put the household sleeping platform where the ashes had been buried. The Wari community does this in an attempt to eradicate any possible evidence of that would memories of the dead. The Wari considers this a healing strategy as well as the creation of a water spirit that manifests back to the earth in the form of a life-sustaining peccary.

Contrastingly, the Indians during a ceremony known as wake which is conducted after twenty-four hours after death occurs depict a different way of treating the dead. The old and young children are excepted from cremation as they are considered pure and thus no purification in the form of burning is necessary to them. When the fire in the cremation pyre goes out then fire in the house can be lit. Gifts of food are only allowed after cremation particularly for consumption by those presiding over the ritual. When the body is entirely burned those, who had gathered usually return to their homes.

A priest shows up in the late home and purifies the house. The third day after cremation, the Karta goes to collect the ashes of the deceased at the cremation area. The Karta eventually ensures that the remnant ashes are disposed at Ganges River which is considered significant as many travel long distances to the particular river to dispose of these ashes. The ostandard mode of disposal of these ashes is scattering method.

The Ganges river is traditionally the disposal point although today Hindu leaders have approved many rivers for such practices. The end of the cremation session usher in a period of mourning whereby the family of the deceased receive visitors at home. The extension of mourning takes about thirteen days, a photo of the deceased is usually displayed, and flowers are placed on it. During the mourning session, a ritual of preta karma is performed to help the deceased acquire a new body. In my community, the essence of this practice is to help the deceased reincarnate into a new form.

A Comparison of the Wari and My Community on What Happens To a Person after Death

Among the wari when a person dies, their spirits are left behind, and they live beneath the waters of deep rivers and lakes, and they appear in standard forms they did when alive. Wari believes that when these spirits from the water they show up in the forms of substantial lipped animals called peccaries which are wild animals that take the form of untamed pigs that move about in huge numbers. As such, the pecarries are a perfect definition of the dead among the Wari. Again, the spirits of the dead can be manifested in the forms of water animals like a group of fish that appear in huge numbers along shallow waters and can easily be killed. According to the Wari, death provides an avenue for the renewal and renegotiation of human and animal's social ties (Trane 337).

On the other hand, my community holds the proposition that life is endless. Therefore, after cremation, the body is purified and prepared for reincarnation (Trane 337). Reincarnation occurs when the soul of the dead part ways with the body after death and embarks to the earth in a different form that not necessarily human form. Reincarnation proposes that the soul of a person transfigures into a different body form for purposes of continuity of life. The underlying assumption behind reincarnation is that the body of the deceased is renewed in another different form of flesh. However, the type of flesh that replaces the deceased is by the conduct of the deceased when they were living known as karma.

A Comparison of the Wari and the Society's World View on How to Treat the Dead

Regarding the worldview approach, self-gratification is not a reason behind Waris eating up the corpse. Instead, it is an avenue of handing over the deceased soul underworld to the giant tawora spirit that would initiate the transformation of the deceased into a water spirit. The water spirit would, in turn, go back to the earth in the form of peccary. As such the mourning's that accompanied this event evoke the transition from human to animal. At the point when the deceased is placed on a massive fire during dismemberment, it is symbolic of the formation of the vast peccary that would replace the deceased. To the Wari, consuming the corpse themselves is an assurance that the deceased would regenerate into a memorable animal. Therefore life is a continuous exchange between the earth and underwater communities where each kills the other at the stipulated time of the cycle. Therefore, Waris hold the view of the earth is lays the boundary between human and animals, the soul as in a continuous state of transfiguration and human as the alternative forms of animals.

However, in my community, the worldview regarding the dead are impure and therefore cannot be eaten nor touched but can be purified through cremation to usher it to the land of reincarnation where it meets karma. However, this is not a justification of the distance between the dead and the living as the family member get close from the dead. As such the dead are viewed to have departed from the land of the living but are still part of them. Also, the relationship between animals and people is that when humans die, they reincarnate in the form of animals based on their past behavior. As such, different kinds of animals are the embodiment of people who existed previously (Trane 337). The worldview on the concept of the soul is that it transfigures taking the form of an animal. The earth is viewed as a permanent place of residence for different species.


All in all, there is an excellent connection between the body, the earth, human and animals. As for the Wari, the body gets directly linked to the spirits emerging in the form of a peccary. The earth, on the other hand, house both the living, the dead and animals. For that reason, the dead have an obligation to the living as they provide food to the living. From the comparison of my funerary culture and that of the Wari, I learn that there is universal respect attached to the dead and their fate is of great concern to the living. Again death in both instances is seen to yield grief which is expressed through mourning (Tomkins 93). In both accounts, life is seen as important be it of animals or people. I get to concur to the worldview regarding either eating up the deceased or burning it up as all ways of expressing love, connection, and ownership to the departed.

Works Cited

Biterman, Eran. "Casket and burial accessory incorporating natural materials from a location having sentimental connection to a deceased." U.S. Patent No. 7,621,027. 24 Nov. 2009.

Murphy, Ann M. "Please Don't Bury Me Down in That Cold Cold Ground: The Need for Uniform Laws on the Disposition of Human Remains." Elder LJ 15 (2007): 381.

Pettigrew, Thomas J. "Observations on the Practice of Embalming among the Ancient Egyptians, Illustrated by the Unrolling of a Mummy from Thebes." Journal of the British Archaeological Association 4.4 (1849): 337-348.

Tomkins, Sarah. "Priam's Lament: The Intersection of Law and Morality in the Right to Burial and Its Need for Recognition in Post-Katrina New Orleans." UDC/DCSL L. Rev. 12 (2009)

Trane, Susan. "Hindu end of life: Death, dying, suffering, and karma." Journal of Hospice & Palliative Nursing 12.6 (2010): 337-342.

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