"Going Over to the Other Side": The Sociality of Remembrance in Galician Death Narratives

Authors

  • Associate Professor Sharon R. Roseman

    1. Department of Anthropology at Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.
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Abstract

Through a layered presentation of the ethnographic context in which oral memory narratives associated with death are recounted in a rural municipality in Galida (in northwestern Spain), this article explores the broader emotional and political aspects of memory practices in this part of Europe. Through sharing their memories of death and warnings of impending death, Galician worker-peasants affirm sociality over privately experienced feelings. As well, it is clear that public talk about death provides daily reminders of human frailty in the face of "destiny" and "God's will." This discursive theme can be drawn upon to comment on the limitations of the power of the members of the dominant classes whose decision-making frequently influences the prospects of land-poor and landless worker-peasants.

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