Symbolic Immortality: The Tlingit Potlatch of the Nineteenth Century / Edition 1

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Overview

The mortuary practices of the Tlingit Indians of Southeastern Alaska represent the survival of indigenous traditions and beliefs. Tracing the emotional and religious, as well as the economic and sociopolitical dimensions, Kan surveys the entire Tlingit mortuary process that culminates in the memorial potlatch. He discovers that through their mortuary rites the Tlingit transform death from a threat to their social order into an opportunity for strengthening and enhancing it.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781560983095
  • Publisher: Smithsonian Institution Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1993
  • Series: Series in Ethnographic Inquiry
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 5.97 (w) x 8.96 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements ix
Introduction 1
Chapter 1 Outline of the Mortuary Rites 33
Part 1 The Person and the Social Order
Chapter 2 The "Outside" and the "Inside": The Tlingit View of the Human Being 49
Chapter 3 Shagoon and the Social Person: The Cultural Ideal 65
Chapter 4 The Aristocrat as the Ideal Person 77
Part 2 The Funeral
Chapter 5 Cosmology, Eschatology, and the Nature of Death 105
Chapter 6 The Deceased, the Mourners, and the Opposites: Actors in the Ritual Drama 125
Chapter 7 Grief, Mourning, and the Politics of the Funeral 165
Part 3 The Potlatch
Chapter 8 Potlatch as a Mortuary Ritual 181
Chapter 9 Competition and Cooperation, Hierarchy and Equality 213
Part 4 Death in Northwestern North America and Beyond
Chapter 10 Tlingit Mortuary Complex, a Comparative Perspective 257
Conclusion: Tlingit Mortuary Complex and the Anthropology of Death 287
Notes 303
Glossary 355
References Cited 357
Index 385
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