Cultural Anthropology

Rites of Passage

Tonya Taylor-Moyd

ANT 101 Anthropology

Dr.  Katie Bojakowski

May 9, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1) Select one aspect of your own culture (African-American) from the list provided for Part I.Be sure to review the relevant sections of the textbook for each topic. Once you’ve made your selection, please delete all other options.

Rite of Passage

This is the ritual that symbols the transition from one chapter of development to the subsequent. The types of rites of passage include birth, adulthood, marriage, death (Crapo, 2013). They are used to achieve diversified social transitions in the society. Even though several cultural assimilations have taken place in the American society, these beliefs on rites of passage are widely practiced in the African-American community. Birth of a child is marked with celebrations such as of naming the child and marking of the growth chart. Transition to adulthood on the hand is marked with various activities. While some take the children to the mountains for hiking and camping for some days. Some are isolated from the community for a period and even shaved. Marriage is where two people leave behind their families and join in matrimony to form a family of their won. It is marked with joyous celebration (Crapo, 2013). The next transition is death which is marked with funeral celebrations. The African-Americans do not practice the eldership rite of passage in the cultures. After the marriage ritual, the next ritual one looks forward to is his death. These older people once they retire are taken to senior homes where they start to use hearing aids, stop driving and taking part in other activities. When such activities start taking place, it is clear that their end is nearing and that they should be ready for funeral arrangements. The culture of aging is one that is not guided by cultural importance and thus the elders do not have a smooth pass to death and even afterlife. Among the African-American communities, all their rites of passage have practiced the people fully, but those of eldership and ancestry are not fully adopted.

 

 

Rites of Passage

 

Page 5 of 7

 

2) Select a source to use for Part I of the paper. You will be using your textbook and the article by Miner for this section as well, but for this assignment, include the source you found on your own. Review the tutorial on Evaluating and enter the reference in the space below.

Reference entry in APA format:

 

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Crapo, R. H. (2013). Cultural Anthropology. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education

Serei, C. (1972). African Rites of Passage. Thought, 47(2), 281-294. doi:10.5840/thought197247220

 

3) Select one article from the list for Part II. Once you’ve made your selection, please delete all other options.

Tsuji, Y. (2011). Rites of passage to death and afterlife in Japan. Generations, 35(3), 28-33. Retrieved from the EBSCOhost database.

 

 

4) Summarize each of your sources.

Summary of your source for Part I (include one to two paragraphs). Enter the summary in the space below.

 

Cultural Anthropology

This article describes the different cultural views of people in the society on rites of passage rituals and practice. Crapo establishes that there are cultures that have life-marking events of all rites of passage stages that are, birth, adulthood, marriage, eldership and ancestry (Crapo, 2013). When most cultures celebrate the first three rituals, others do not celebrate the last two. They do not believe that elders should undergo any other rituals or even be celebrated once they are dead. Contrary to these other communities support the practice of the rituals for eldership and ancestry rite of passage. The transition from adulthood to elderly and to death thereby being an ancestor is natural (Crapo, 2013). Since they are natural as the other rites of passage, then they should be accorded the same importance and be practiced. Rituals are very important in every society and any society without them has no human social existence. There is great diversity in people’s beliefs based on environmental, technological and social differences which help them to choose how to practice the various rituals. There are universal aspects that define rites of passage such as the ritual behavior, belief in life after death and belief in transition through all the stages of life together with the importance of the people in the society. These ritual behaviors function to bring the community together, establish the various life stages and their importance and the importance of celebration of life activities.

Reference

Crapo, R. H. (2013). Cultural Anthropology. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education

African Rites of Passage

There are five major African components (birth, adulthood, marriage, eldership, and ancestorship) to the rites of passage which are central to human progression and advancement (Serei,1972).  These rites of passage were initially customary performed by African descendants while they were developing to bond the single person to the communal environment and the communal environment to the comprehensive and more powerful divine creation. Rites of passage are a normal and essential fragment of society, as are head, arms, hands, legs and foot expected and indispensable extension of the human frame.  These rites of passage are dire to the person and communal progress, and it must not be assumed that individuals mechanically cultivate and progress into accountable, communal-adapted grownups (Serei, 1972).

 

The process of initiation during the rites of passage distresses undertaking a vital set of rites to start a new chapter or commencement of life cycle.  It denotes the transitioning from one chapter of development to the next more established chapter.  Initiation chapter during the rites of passage essentially has to do with revolution and has been a fundamental element of customary African beliefs since time long-established (Serei, 1972).  The specifics of the rites of passage differ among the diverse cultures, but these rites of passage are nonetheless basic mechanisms of the culture as they help conduct the individual from one phase in life into the next phase of one’s lifecycle and advancement, that is, from birth to bereavement and beyond into spiritual existence (Serei, 1972).

Reference

 

Serei, C. (1972). African Rites of Passage. Thought, 47(2), 281-294. doi:10.5840/thought197247220

 

Summary of your source for Part II (include one to two paragraphs). Enter the summary in the space below.

Rites of passage to death and afterlife in Japan

Tsuji talks about the Japanese rites of passage up to death and afterlife in Japan (Tsuji, 2011). Contrary to the American society where death at old age is not marked by many people in the society as a rite of passage, Japanese elders undergo so many rituals throughout their old age and even after death. Their culture prescribes the rituals of rite of passage from ages sixty to one hundred and eleven. Even when this group of people dies, they do not suffer any aging pain as they know they will be honored by their descendants. So many changes are taking place in the rituals in Japan. As a result, the funeral costs have gone up, and there is increased shortage in grave sites (Tsuji, 2011). While some take flowers and place on tombstones, bones of the dead to the house or forests, some perform the rituals through hosting living funerals. The old mark the passage of death even before they pass on. The event is celebrated with all family members to see what the event will be like on the very day. This practice helps eliminate the anxiety that comes after when one reaches older ages, and there is no ritual for this rite of passage. The Japanese elders get to celebrate their auspicious birthdays and mortuary rituals (Tsuji, 2011). The Americans lack the rituals that help the elderly people maneuver through their aging process with cultural guidance. Hence, each society has different cultural perspectives on some of the issues in the society.

Reference

Tsuji, Y. (2011). Rites of passage to death and afterlife in Japan. Generations, 35(3), 28-33. Retrieved from the EBSCOhost database.

 

 

 

5) Write a working thesis statement based on your sources. See this example .

Working Thesis Statement:

This study aims to compare the rite of passage practices among the African-American and Japanese communities: the cultural difference of the rituals on the transition to eldership and death (Ancestry).

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