Book Chapter Details
Mandatory Fields
Jenny Butler
2008 October
Women, Pain and Death: Rituals and Everyday Life on the Margins of Europe and Beyond
Symbolic and Social Roles of Women in Death Ritual in Traditional Irish Society
Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Optional Fields
Irish Death Ritual Wake Women and Death Banshee Keening Afterlife Beliefs Irish Traditional Funeral
This article examines the ascribed social roles of women connected with death in the context of pre-modern Irish society. From the "white women" who prepare and lay out the corpse, to the roles of women during the wake itself and keening women who ritually lament for the dead, the connections between women and death are explored. Irish attitudes towards death and beliefs surrounding this event are also examined in relation to gender. One example is the supernatural figure of the banshee as a gendered symbol of death, a female entity said to be responsible for heralding news that one is about to die.
Grant Details