Accepted Paper:

has pdf download Turning death to keep the world alive  


Christel Mattheeuws (Aberdeen University)

Paper short abstract:

I will use the example of animals in rituals among the Zanadroandrena of West Bezanozano (Central East Madagascar) to show how people in relation with the Creator, the sun and moon, the weather, plants, animals and specific places, participate in keeping the world alive.

Paper long abstract:

The Zanadroandrena of West Bezanozano in Central East Madagascar have a particular way of dealing with death. For them death does not mean being without life-force, but the life-force having become immobile or life threatening. Life-force is always there in both life and death, but somethimes it moves and somethimes it doesn't, or somethimes it gives life and somethimes it brings death among the living. In its death capacity, life-force is called 'jiny'. Death as the primordial nature of 'jiny' has to be restored into a life-giving force. Life is a constant task, searching to build fruitful relations with celestial bodies, the land, animals, plants, spirits and ancestors to prevent that the world falls apart. In this paper I will show how the silkworm, bees, cock and zebus or their poducts are integrated in the Zanadroandrena socio-cosmic web or relations to turn death into a life-giving direction. Each play a particular role defined by the astrological destiny they carry.

Panel P27
Religions' contributions in human-animal relations