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Death and Separation in Postconflict Timor‐Leste

Bovensiepen, Judith M. (2018) Death and Separation in Postconflict Timor‐Leste. In: Robben, Antonious C.G.M., ed. A Companion to the Anthropology of Death. Wiley, pp. 59-70. ISBN 978-1-119-22229-3. (doi:10.1002/9781119222422.ch5) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:63994)

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This chapter examines how death dramatizes a key dynamic of social interaction in the central highlands of Timor‐Leste, namely the significance of separation for the establishment of prosperous relations. The main argument is that the assumption of continuity between life‐giving and life‐taking entities creates a need for detachment and differentiation. Mortuary practices bring this dynamic into focus since they create a boundary between the living and the dead, between wife givers and wife takers, and between human and nonhuman domains. The exchange of gifts that takes place upon death establishes separation, which in turn enables the reproduction of life. However, this dynamic of separation has been complicated by experiences of war and conflict, and the second part of the chapter explores, first, the difficulties of keeping life and death apart in a postconflict context and, second, the dangers of complete separation that conflict and occupation can bring about.

Item Type: Book section
DOI/Identification number: 10.1002/9781119222422.ch5
Uncontrolled keywords: differentiation, exchange, gift exchange, life givers and life takers, mortuary practices, relational personhood, sacrifice, Southeast Asia, the flow of life, violence and conflict
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Depositing User: Judith Bovensiepen
Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2017 14:37 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 13:49 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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Bovensiepen, Judith M..

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