Abstract

Sati, the custom of burning widows alive with the bodies of their husbands, is not a phenomenon unique to India, if its function (and not merely its appearance) is taken into account. All over the world, in many societies where there is widespread belief in the continuation of an individual's position in the hereafter, the social and political order has been confirmed and strengthened by the provision of attendants for deceased persons: at their funerals, the deceased were followed, either voluntarily or involuntarily, by their subordinates, who either were killed or killed themselves in public rituals.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-8050
Print ISSN
1045-6007
Pages
pp. 293-325
Launched on MUSE
2006-01-13
Open Access
No
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