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Cynthia J. W. Svoboda

In: 21st Century Anthropology: A Reference Handbook

Chapter 77: Festivals and Rituals

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Festivals and Rituals
Festivals and rituals

Festivals and rituals have played an important role in developing an understanding of the social network of societies. They have existed since the dawn of humankind and remain vital to civilization today. Their role is recognized by anthropologists as central to the understanding of human culture, customs, and beliefs; as such, anthropologists have studied festivals and rituals ever since anthropology emerged and developed as a scientific field of study in the second half of the 19th century. There is an extensive body of literature and much anthropological debate on how festivals and rituals should best be defined, why they are important, and what kinds of events they may include. The study of the nature, origin, and purpose of festivals and ...

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