We rise out of the cradle into the grave

An ethnographic exploration of ritual, mourning, and death on a hutterite colony

Joanne Cacciatore, Kara Thieleman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The Hutterites are a closed ethnoreligious community whose funeral traditions have remained unchanged for centuries. Few researchers have had the opportunity to study this unique group. This study is an ethnographic exploration into the experience of child death and ritual on a Hutterite colony utilizing participant-observation and interviewing. Three recurrent themes emerged: ritual/tradition, spirituality/faith, and social cohesion and integration/group identity. Observed rituals are situated within the broader framework. While some aspects of the response to death may resemble those of mainstream culture, a deeper evaluation of descriptive and structural specifics reveals some important differences. Most of the cultural contrast is contained in concrete social enactment of death rituals, shared identity, and the immutable faith in God at the center of the Hutterite mourning process. These factors may help account for the low rates of mental disorders seen among Hutterites, even following traumatic events, and would be worthy of further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)357-379
Number of pages23
JournalOmega (United States)
Volume69
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014

Fingerprint

Ceremonial Behavior
Grief
religious behavior
death
faith
Spirituality
social cohesion
social integration
mental disorder
spirituality
participant observation
Mental Disorders
funeral
god
Group
Research Personnel
Observation
event
evaluation
community

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Life-span and Life-course Studies
  • Health(social science)
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

We rise out of the cradle into the grave : An ethnographic exploration of ritual, mourning, and death on a hutterite colony. / Cacciatore, Joanne; Thieleman, Kara.

In: Omega (United States), Vol. 69, No. 4, 01.12.2014, p. 357-379.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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