Book Name in English : Homage to the DepartedHomage to the Departed makes an original foray into the thinking of some tribal groups in northern Kerala about death and dying. Having realised that the available ethnographies of Kerala are often conceptually and methodologically flawed. Manjula Poyil has gone directly to her “source” and reports the beliefs andpast practices to do with death – common practices as well as treatment specific to age, gender, and the status of one who has died. Ghosts, omens, ritual dance at funerals, the appropriate musical instruments and memorials are some of the aspects of funerary practice described in this study. Especially important among these is the aniconic tutelary deity, almost ubiquitous in historical India. The sensitive question of the space and voice conceded to women in social dealings with death has also been accomplished in this compelling book.
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