Definitions starting with D

ID #1625

Death

"SEND FOR FEALY!" (a Nassau undertaker) is a humorous cry when someone gets sick or faints. If the SICK is actually ON DYING, however, the local GRANNY will come to care for him in those settlements on remote islands where no professional help is available. If he is PUNISHING, she will soothe the pain by bathing him in ASHES WATER until he is TRAVELING and death finally comes. The DEAD is then put on a COOLING BOARD and bathed with SOUR (the orifices being TRINCHED with BUSH leaves) and finally dressed. Then the DEAD is placed in a home-made coffin lined with more BUSH. If the family belongs to a burial society, the coffin may be placed in their hall to SHOW THE FACE. Otherwise friends, FAMILIES and neighbors come to the DEAD HOUSE to SEE THE FACE and show that they FEEL the dead by KEEPING SETTING-UP and helping to SING. Coffee and JOHNNY CAKE are served at intervals until DAY CLEAN. After the dead is CHURCHED, the procession goes to the HOLE in the churchyard. Here the most distraught may WALLER or HOLD THEIR HEAD AND SCREAM. After the burial everyone goes home and there is nothing left in the graveyard except the DEAD-PEOPLE FLOWERS and perhaps a SPERIT BIRD. No one may sleep in the DEAD HOUSE for two weeks lest the SPERIT is still TRAVELLING. Then the family SMOKE THE HOUSE and the DEAD'S earthly possessions must SHARE and someone will get a new set of BANG-BANG CLOTHES.

Tags: Encyclopedia definition, folktales

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Last update: 2012-01-17 08:51
Author: Holm and Shilling, DBE, 1982
Revision: 1.2

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Added at: 2015-12-23 01:37

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Added at: 2015-12-22 10:21

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Added at: 2015-12-22 19:48