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Thick Description of a Visit Home: In Tribute to Clifford Geertz



A journey home after my parents' deaths combined elements of pilgrimage, mortuary ritual, and ritual of reincorporation. This exercise in thick description (Clifford Geertz 1973) explores the meaning of my tragicomic adventure using Renato Rosaldo's (1989) ideas of ritual as public markers along private paths. When my personal mourning ritual could not fit into any available cultural category, I stumbled, disoriented, into a carnival world of boundary transgression, status inversion, and farce.