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Kristen Logan,LBST 2102

1. Grandfather Bakhyes had an ideological ritual death. This specific ritual allows the

individuals title/status to be changed within the community by giving them a new status

that will last for eternity. The three phases of an ideological ritual are separation,

transition and incorporation. The first phase, separation, requires an individual to be

separated from their previous status. Separation occurred in Grandfather Bakhyes life

when he died and was separated from the physical world and into the spiritual realm. The

next phase, Transition, involves rituals that can involve initiation/pain ceremonies.

During this phase an individual enters a phase of liminality. This means that the

individual is in a state where they no longer attain their original status but they have not

yet transitioned into their post ritual status. Grandfather Bakhye moved into the transition

phase when he re-died in his home instead of at the hospital. This stage also involves a

good bit of the community in the way that they must perform rituals in order for

Grandfathers transition into the new afterlife to become fully complete. A few symbols

included in the liminal phase include the tears of the people. In order to guide

Grandfathers spirit to his ancestors the Dragaras must cry so that they can allow his soul

to swim and reach his final destination. This shows how Grandfather is specifically not in

the physical realm but also not in the spiritual realm because he still needs to swim so

that he can reach his ancestors. The last phase, incorporation, involves the individual

reentering into society with their new status. Grandfather was incorporated into the

ancestral realm and his spirit will continue to live on throughout his community. This

funeral differ from mine in the way that I do not perform dance like rituals nor is my

purpose for crying a way for their spirit to cross over into the spiritual realm. The funerals
I attend also do not last for days but maybe a few hours.

2. Some received a Seminary education which meant that he was taught the ways of the

western world and their forms of education. This education is based mostly on the

Christian religion so Some learned about sins and the lessons from the bible. During his

teen years Some was given a strict class schedule and often had to attend mass. I would

say the biggest difference between seminary education and the Dagaras education would

be that the Dagaras use a less formal setting for their education. The Dagaras teach

people through their community and family rather than with textbooks and specific

classes. Both these forms of education not only differ from each other but also from my

own form of education. Unlike seminary, where it is mostly based off of learning

scriptures and going to mass, my education that I receive involves different types of

curriculum such as math, english and science. Some also seemed to spend his entire day

at the seminary school. This differs from todays education where kids are let out early so

they can spend their days doing other tasks such as sports and extracurricular activities.

Also, education in America today uses textbooks and children learn from hired

professionals rather than the Dagaras who teach from the environment and through their

families.

3. Some must become initiated so he can integrate back into the community. Since he was

not initiated as a child in his community he is still not considered an adult. The elders of

the community also expressed concern with his ability to make it through the ceremony.

It was believed that he had retained too much information about the new world and that
he did not have enough room in his brain to learn from the initiation. The elders also

believe that Somes body and spirit have been separated from each other and the only

way to reunite them would be to go through the initiation process. I believe the ritual

used for this was the Revitalization Ritual. This ritual eliminates foreign

thoughts/customs and brings the individuals spirit back into the traditional way of life.

The formal name for this initiation is called the Baar. The process of Some getting

initiated is intense and almost costs him his life. Through the Liminal phase Some sees a

vision of a giant green woman. He refers to this woman as a mother like figure and once

she begins to disappear he reflects on the death of his own mother. The comfort Some

feels from this woman can be represented by the womb and the disappearance and the

feeling of death Some receives represents the tomb and the rebirth of a new life.

4. The concept of names is an extremely important aspect in the Dagara community. A

babys name is supposed to tell one their destiny in life. For example, Malidomas name

means to befriend strangers/enemies. Malidomas grandfather even tells him that it was

his destiny to get captured by the westerners in order for Malidoma to befriend them and

learn of their culture. By doing this Malidoma is able to relay information back home in

order for the community to gain more of a grasp on what the westerners are. Since

Malidoma has completed the task of learning about and assimilating into the western

culture his destiny is complete. Ancestors play an important role in the culture of the

Dagara because it is believed that every second generation is rebirthed as an ancestor.

That is why Grandfathers and grandsons are so close in this community. Malidoma is

belives to be the reincarnation of Grandfather Bakhyes brother, Birifor. It was predicted


during the query ritual before he was born. One important key in this community is to

have a healthy relationship with ones ancestors. By doing this the Dagara people believe

that their ancestors will guide and please them throughout their lives. All of these factors

brought together explain the significance of Malidomas capture and the close bond he

shares with his grandfather.