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Heathen Practices At Funerals

Heathen Practices At Funerals

Author: Phillippo, James M.

Medium: Lithograph

Date: 1843

Shelfmark: 1304.h.4

Item number: Page 244

Length: 11

Width: 19

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Topographical Print

Illustration from James Mursell Phillippo's 'Jamaica: Its Past and Present State.' Phillippo was a Baptist missionary and considered the traditional African practices of the slave population to be 'heathen.' He describes the funeral customs that he observed, noting that burial usually took place the day after death due to the tropical climate. The coffin was processed through the village accompanied by the beating of drums and the singing of songs. Tradition held that the coffin would not pass the house of anyone who had slandered the deceased until an apology had been made or a debt repaid. Phillippo comments that these burial ceremonies often took place at night by candle light.

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