Wednesday, September 17, 2014

‘Wake’


            This evening, on the way home, Marolahy learned that someone in the Antefasy tribe in Vondrozo had died and that there was a ‘wake’ being held in the Antefasy house.  I convinced him to take me about the time we were passing the trail to the house, so we made our way up to the house.  Entering, we made our quick introductions and then left to make preparations for our time at the ‘wake.’  During these events the people in the house do not sleep the entire night.  To accomplish this they spend the whole night sitting around talking and drinking.  So leaving the house we made our way to the bar where I bought a liter of ‘alcohol’ as a gift to the family.  We then went to Marolahy’s
house to eat a quick meal and then made our way back to the Antefasy house.  Entering the house we again made our introductions and presented them the gift with the customary speeches.  I opened the bottle, poured a little to the ancestors (a tradition here) and then gave it to them to drink.  We then took a seat against the wall next to the door and they proceeded to tell me what was happening, what was going to happen, and why.  So only 17 days into me being at site I was doing Anthropological research at my second large cultural event. 
            I was unfortunately unable to take pictures, but I can give you a short description of what it looked like.  The house itself was made of a log frame with wood slates and a thatched roof.  It was a long building, about 13’ x 40,’ with the short sides facing west and east and the door on the west wall.  Half way down the north wall was a lamp that was meant to burn all night and the wife sat facing it.  Making a boarder around the inside of the building and down its center was a bunch of people from that tribe.  All laying or sitting and wrapped in blankets.  This was the scene for the whole night.  The next morning the family boarded a taxi brusse with the deceased and made there way to Fara where the family tomb was located.

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