Cultural Tidbit #3 – Spirituality

3a – The women who struck the sky

Kaitlyn, has already written an excellent rendition of this story so go to their blog here: http://jantzis-in-rumbek.blogspot.com/2010/08/woman-who-struck-sky.html

3b – Dancing to Death

A tradition that used to be common but is now rare:
When a person reaches a certain age where they are closer to the spirits than the family around them they may choose to go to the spirits permanently. Others will be able to tell this time has come because the elderly person will stop talking except to address those how have already passed on to the other side and whom no one else can see. This is considered a blessing and in consultation with the spiritual leader of the community, the person themselves, and rest of the family it will be decided to bring everyone together for one last party. After the family has gathered the elderly person will be taken to the middle of the yard and drums will begin beating. People will start dancing around and around and create so much dust that the elderly person, already weak, will suffocate and pass on to the other side. The party will continue for a week in celebration of the person’s life and their spirit.

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