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Birth And Death

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Chapter Summary

Birth in Zilphukhog was a simple business. Delivery in Zilphukhog usually took place in an improvised hut for the well-to-do women, and under a simple shelter for the less well-off women. Giving birth to many girls was scorned, and being an infertile woman was stigmatized. Infertile women were considered to be innately threatening or defiling. When a person died in the poor dependent households, the corpse was put in a corner of the tent, but a well-to-do family usually improvised a separate tent for it. There were two other alternative ways of disposing of corpses, namely earth and water burial, which had a much lower frequency. The body was put in a wooden vessel that floated upon river water inside a small improvised stone structure so that it was not carried away by the river. No adult in Zilphukhog was buried under water.

Keywords: corpses; earth burial; water burial; Zilphukhog

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