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Continuity and discontinuity of rituals: Covid-19 pandemic in Southern Africa.

Authors :
Botes, Tamia
Ngqula, Zikhona
Rampeta, Bopane
Baloyi, Thulani
Penda, Chanda
Source :
Anthropology Southern Africa (2332-3256). May2024, Vol. 47 Issue 1, p59-72. 14p.
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The onset of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in late 2019 gave way to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic that changed the world. These changes impacted many spheres of ritualised social life, including burial, funerary and cultural rituals, and rites of passage. In this article, we focus on the reorganisation of life and the reimagining of rituals arising from the Covid-19 pandemic in relation to ancestral veneration in Cacadu and Queenstown (Eastern Cape, South Africa), burial practices amongst Basotho (Lesotho), state funerals in Lusaka (Zambia), funerary and mortuary practice generally in South Africa, and everyday cultural practices of care in Eldorado Park (Gauteng, South Africa). In these sites, lockdown regulations saw ritual, burial and funerary practices carried out in novel, uncanny ways that unsettled communal support systems and obligations. This included the slaughtering of animals, or lack thereof, and changes in customary mourning practices at both communal and state level. In extrapolating the above, this article relies on ethnographic data gathered by way of in-depth interviews, participant observation and auto-ethnography, to explore and discuss how the pandemic has changed and (re)shaped burial, ritual and funerary practices in Southern Africa. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


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Academic Search Index
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Anthropology Southern Africa (2332-3256)
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Academic Journal
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