Aschwanden, Herbert, 1933-. Symbols of death: an analysis of the consciousness of the Karanga

Table of Contents

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I Causes Of Death

1. On The Nature Of Disease

2. Diseases From God

3. Diseases Caused By Sin And Disobedience

A) Disobedience Towards The Ancestors

B) Mistakes In Sexual Behaviour

C) Perjury And The Omitted Confession

D) Prevention And Treatment (examples)

4. Diseases From The Spirits

A) What Are Spirits?

B) Spirit Categories

C) Ancestral And Alien Spirits (vadzimu And Mashave)

D) Diseases From The Ancestral And From The Alien Spirits

E) Taking The Oil (kudyira Futa)

F) Murder And Its Consequences

5. The Three Diseases From The Dirty Spirits (mweya Yesvina)

A) Introduction

B) On The Origin And Nature Of The Dirty Spirits

C) The Various Names Of The Dirty Spirits

D) The Special Position Of The Dirty Spirits

E) The Effects Of The Three Diseases

6. Infants As Cause Of Death

A) Twins

A) Twins Are Always Accepted

B) Ambivalent Acceptance

C) The Breech-birth

D) Deformity

7. The Witches

A) Introduction

B) The Background Of A Witch

C) Definitions Of Witchcraft

D) The Witches' Instruments

E) Forms Of Witchcraft

F) The Sphere Of Activity And Power Of The Witch

G) Protection Against Witches

H) A Short Summary

Ii When Death Comes

1. Introduction

2. Ideas On Death

3. Dying

A) When Death Comes

B) The Death Of A King

C) The Trap For Death

D) Suicide

4. The Time Between Death And Burial

A) The Announcement

B) The Body

C) The Signs Of Mourning

D) The Personal Belongings Of The Deceased

E) The Symbolical Substitute Of Wife And Child

F) The Wanderings Of The Deceased

Iii The Funeral

1. The Choice Of Grave

2. The Funeral Ceremonies

A) Preparations

B) The Walk To The Grave

C) The Interment

D) First Events After The Burial

3. The Funeral Of Kings And Chiefs

A) Mummification

B) The Burial

Iv. The Victory Over Death

1. Introduction

2. The Beer Of The Water (doro Remvura)

3. The Goat Of Anger (mbudzi Yeshungu)

4. The Deceased Is Brought Home (kugadzira Munhu-ceremony)

A) The Concept Of Restoration

B) The Woman Is Brought Home (kugadzira Mudzimai)

C) The Husband Is Brought Home

D) The Belongings Are Shared Out (kugadza Nhaka)

E) The King Is Brought Home (doro Rebira Rokugadzira)

F) The Ceremony For The Medium

G) A Short Review

5. The Gono-ceremony (bira)

A) The Child And The Bull (gono)

B) The Ritual Installation Of The Gono

C) The Bira-festival

6. The Initiation Of The Medium (bira Resvikiro)

7. The Lion Of The Ancestor (shumba Yomudzimu)

8. The Cycle Of Life And Death

V. Synopsis Of The Symbolism

1. Introduction

2. The Definition Of The Symbol

3. Bases Of Symbol-formation

4. The Irrational

5. The Identification

6. Symbolism And Causality

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Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information


Title: Symbols of death: an analysis of the consciousness of the Karanga

Published By: Gweru, Zimbabwe: Mambo Press, 1987. 389 p.: ill.

By line: by Herbert Aschwanden in collaboration with the African nursing sisters of the Musiso Hospital, Zimbabwe ; English translation by Ursula Cooper

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: HRAF, 2014. Computer File

Culture: Shona (FS05)

Subjects: Animism (774); Eschatology (775); Life and death (761); Burial practices and funerals (764); Sorcery (754); Conception (842); Ethnozoology (825); Spirits and gods (776); Prayers and sacrifices (782); Revelation and divination (787); Social readjustments to death (768); Organized ceremonial (796); Ethnoanatomy (826); Ethnosociology (829);

Abstract: This is a continuation of Aschwanden et al., 1982. Here, as in the previous work, the symbolism of the Karanga subgroup is analyzed and interpreted from the standpoint of the natives. The complex and intricate nature of the symbols of death are investigated in terms of their beliefs about the causes of death, what happens when death finally comes, the funeral, and the concept of victory over death through various rituals. The work concludes with a synopsis of the symbolism used throughout the source.

Document Number: 21

Document ID: fs05-021

Document Type: Monograph

Language: English

Note: Continues: Symbols of life. 1982.

Field Date: 1965-1971

Evaluation: Physician, Missionary Nurses-5

Analyst: John Beierle; 1991

Coverage Date: 1965-1971

Coverage Place: Masvingo, Zimbabwe

LCSH: Karanga (African people)//Karanga (African people)-- Funeral customs and rites//Philosophy, Karanga


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