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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Lu-lia, the 'Fresh Funeral': Founding a House for the Deceased among the Kasena of North-East Ghana
Author:Abasi, Augustine KututeraISNI
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute
Geographic terms:Ghana
Burkina Faso
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Abstract:Mourning and funerals in Kasenaland, northeastern Ghana, seem more resistant to alien influences than any other institution. This study focuses on the first stage of Kasena funerals, namely 'lua-lia', the initial 'fresh' or 'wet' funeral of an aged person. It first describes the Kasena initial funeral, focusing on what is said, done, and felt, and on changing patterns of behaviour and interaction among the participants. Then it discusses the similarities between Kasena practices surrounding death and those surrounding birth. Both not only radically affect the family web in the house but are intimately connected in less explicit ways: the maternal womb itself acts as the ultimate model for the maternal room, the house, and the grave. Finally the author shows that the 'fresh' funeral is concerned with founding or building a 'room' or 'house' for the deceased so that the latter may reach the 'ancestral home', a replica of the 'house of the family'. The spatial layout of the house, and the symbolic value of its different parts and of the movements in and out of the house constitute the very core of Kasena social life, cultural values and cosmology. The study is based on field research carried out in the author's home area in 1989-1990. Bibliogr., notes, sum. in English and French.