Assignment: Birthing Rituals The birth
They are also used for healing. Animals are killed in a way similar to a kosher slaughter. Animals are cooked and eaten following most rituals, except for some healing and death rituals in which the animal is not eaten because it is believed that the sickness is passed into the dead animal.
Birthing Rituals The birth of an infant is a life-altering event that is surrounded by many traditional and ancient rituals. These rituals are often related to protecting the health of the child, which includes protecting him or her from evil spirits. The rituals are related to events prior to, during, and after the birth. Because the rituals are so numerous, we have listed the general variations, but the list is not exhaustive.
Wearing of amulets
The fulfilling of food cravings
Exposure to cold air
Avoidance of loud noises or viewing certain types of people (i.e., deformed people)
How the placenta is discarded
Silent birth (some cultures require that no words or sounds are spoken by the woman and/or family members)
People present during labor
Utilization of a midwife
Place of delivery
Amulets (placed on the baby, crib, or in the newborn’s room)
Female and male circumcision
Cutting of child’s lock of hair
Bathing of baby
When the naming of the baby occurs
Rubbing the baby with oils or herbs
Acceptance of postpartum depression
Woman’s and child’s confinement period
Death Rituals Responses to death vary widely across cultures. Although some cultures may perform the same or similar rituals, they may have different meaning among the cultures. The rituals, in part, are related to beliefs about the meaning of life and life after death. Is death the end of existence or a transition to another life? Rituals play a role in behaviors, such as how people discuss death, respond to death, handle the deceased’s body, the behaviors that occur at the funeral, and the mourning process.
Some general variations include:
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