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Title: Marriage in death : ritual representations of Belizean Garifuna ('Black Carib') society
Author: Foster, Byron Murray
ISNI:       0000 0001 3476 3581
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 1983
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The Garifuna, an Afro-Amerindian people, were deported from St . Vincent by the British in 1797. About 70,000 Garinagu (pl. form) now inhabit the coastal zone of Central America from Nicaragua to Belize. In the sparsely-populated southern half of Belize Garinagu live in discrete coastal settlements , fishing and practising subsistence horticulture . Salaried labour , first practised by Garinagu during the English occupation of St . Vincent, is now perfromed throughout Belize and in the USA . The mating system and the structure of the household are unstable . This instability , together with the mode of organization of subsistence production , leads women to form reciprocal productive networks . Men exchange labour less frequently and operate less within the milieu of kinship . Women , too, are the main participants in ritual. The cult rites - which reproduce a cosmology partially syncretized with Catholicism - focus on the dead . The placatory dU:gu rites are structured in a diadic , syr.rrnetrical manner , in contrast with the unilateral tendency in day- to-day kinship. Ritual groups , constituted by possession trance and shamanic designation , celebrate kinship and Garifuna mythico-history . The symbolic merging of heart and grave forms the ritual basis of descent and a focus for Garifuna ethnicity . Against a h i story of deportation and minority status , Garinagu retain control of their dead through ritual performance. While it is the women who establish this ritual control, it is they who must meet the reciprocal sacrificial obligations it entails: in this sense women have been 'given' death. Although women are challenging the ideology surrounding their reproductive capacity, their ritual dances reproduce that ideology.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Anthropology