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Accepted Paper:

Fear and prayers: negotiating with the dead in Apiao, Chiloé, southern Chile  
Giovanna Bacchiddu (Pontificia Universidad Catolica, Chile)

Paper long abstract:

Apiao people exorcise their fear of death by protecting themselves from the dead's wrath. After death, individuals turn into animas, spirits, that can haunt the living - unless they are properly taken care of. This paper describes the beliefs surrounding death and the dead for a small Catholic community. The dead have ambivalent powers: just like God and the local miraculous saints, they can be both benevolent and revengeful. They can be placated through offerings and prayers sessions, called novenas. These represent the chance to negotiate with the supernatural, and enact the fundamental social value of actively remembering. The novenas entail inviting and attending many people, and spending vast amounts of money to honour the dead. The celebrations that accompany the prayers -ritual consumption of food and alcohol - allow individuals to strengthen their alliances with other individuals, in respect to the strict reciprocity rule that governs interaction in Apiao.

Panel W013
Death and imagination: creative strategies to embrace and avoid the crisis of death
  Session 1