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Anthropology 3332F/G Chapter online reading : Anthro 3332 Week 11 Reading Notes on "The Afterlife of Asabano Corpses: Relationships with the Deceased in Papua New Guinea"

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ANTH 3332F/G
Andrew Walsh
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Monday, November 20, 2017
The Afterlife of Asabano Corpses: Relationships with the
Deceased in Papua New Guinea
by Roger Lohmann
-One of the most remarkable achievements of humankind is the belief that death need
not end relations
-before contact with the West, the Asabano of Papua New Guinea treated the dead in
accordance to relationships
-often the person would be physically dead but not socially
-they would place the bones on top of hills overlooking if they were an important
-then placed in house where only men could enter
-their bones were used to support the living
-the important women’s bones would be kept inside house where they lived
-but unimportant people were discarded because they could not help the living
-enemies were spiritually destroyed by being thrown in rivers or eaten
-after contact and conversion in 1970s to christianity, they now do burials and bone
relics are no longer apparent
-but still maintain a relationship with the dead depending on the relationship which
they believe is mutual
-two things happen when someone dies for Asabano:
-they either die and it is a complete physical and social death of the person (they
aren’t spoken about again or kept in memory) or
-they appear in dreams communicating with them, memories and ancestral blessings
-in this article deceased refers to dead but still perceived subjects of sociality or dead
who are completely forgotten or abandoned in society
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