Emotion, Performance and Death Ritual in Mani, Greece

The aim of this project is to gain insight into the role of emotion and emotion expression in contemporary rural Greek death rituals.

Project No. G 112

Christos Varvantakis

The project revolves around an ethnographic study in the Mani region, in southern Greece. The distinctive death ritual there consists of the mourning of the deceased in an unofficial ritual process that precedes the official ceremonial burial by the local church's priest. Within the mourning  phase, funeral laments (moiroloya = grief songs) are being improvised and sung by relatives of the deceased, in a performance of grief and loss. The assertion of this work is that the expression of emotion within the prescribed context, with its specific cultural characteristics, is connected to the expression of social claims and of discourses that cannot be expressed outside of this context. In other words, the main focus of this study is the interdependency of emotion, death ritual and culture.

Discipline

Social and Cultural Anthropology

Supervisor

Prof. Dr. Christoph Wulf

Prof. Dr. Birgitt Röttger-Rössler