The body of the deceased as a site of sacred-profane negotiation in Kashubian death rituals


Słowa kluczowe:

Kashubs, death rites, profane, sacred, deceased


Kashubian rituals around the deceased acquire a magical character, where the sacred is ubiquitous and intertwines seamlessly with the profane. Kashubian culture represents primal magic, many activities around the deceased are symbolic; talking to the body while washing it, singing, observing the deceased, equipping them with various objects, is aimed at successfully transferring them to the world of the sacred. This displacement has always been associated with the tension and horror that characterize the ritual. The purpose of this article is to show the rites of passage and traditional symbolic activities aimed at a smooth transition of the body status of the deceased, from the profane to the sacred, and their ephemeral and ambivalent character. Moreover, the cases of ineffective or interrupted rituals will be pointed out. The above issue will be discussed in the context of symbolic actions over the body, which are to lead to the sphere of the sacred, an effective transition from the separation phase, through suspension, to the aggre[1]gation phase.