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Overview > Lesson 12
Death and community
Death rituals in the home and subsequent burial and mourning practices
reveal much about community values and social classes. Although
these rituals have varied over time because of changes in the belief
system, these rituals were shared, varying only in terms of social
position. The social elite used this time to once again demonstrate
Women played a significant role in the community at the time of
Custom provided that the female neighbors gathered
to be with the families during a time of grave illnesses and the
passing of a family member. They prepared the body and then stayed
up with the grieving family through the nights until the "viewing"
and funeral were to occur. They sewed funeral clothes for members
of the family and provided food for those who would come from afar.
They would also organize the gathering that would occur in the home
after the burial.
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