Ewe funerals are dominated by music, particularly drumming. They are a time for mourning, celebrating, and reunion.
The old tradition of the funerals happen soon after death, as the traditional use of herbs to preserve the body lasts only a few days. Burial of the body is standard after funerals. Four to six days after the burial there would be a wake. On the day after the wake, lineage rituals were observed. On this day, the family receives donations from the community to help pay for the funeral.
The modern tradition of funerals is different from the old, but restores some of the traditions. Because of family members and friends who may live outside of the community, burial now can take place weeks to even a month after death. Modern technology makes this possible. Burials tend to take place on Saturdays so that people traveling from far away, have time to make it home to go to work on Monday.
Overall, the old tradition remains, with a few modern accommodations. Ewe funerals are a great place to find traditional music and dance. It is a bright festive atmosphere. Because many rituals need to be observed, which can go on for days, it is very important that a ewe funeral be well organized.
While Ewe funerals may seem entirely different from those in America, they share something, that they are both honoring the dead.
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