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African Influences on African American Funerary and Mortuary Practices

African influences on African American mortuary practices are identifiable in living communities as well as in the historical and archaeological documentation. Many Africans retained their traditional spiritual beliefs and practices even after conversion to Christianity, though the forms of worship shifted as they faded or were disguised when succeeding generations lost access to cultural knowledge.

This entry describes links between early African American and traditional (non-Christian, non-Islamic) African mortuary practices. Its geographical scope is limited to behaviors documented in western and central Africa and the United States.

Anthropological Research Regarding African Mortuary Practices

Sources regarding African and African diasporic funerals include reports made by European travelers, enslavers, and officials from the 17th to 20th centuries, as well as ethnographic work in Africa ...

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