Home going: a spirit-centered ethnography exploring the transformative journey of documenting Gullah/Geechee funerals Public Deposited

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Last Modified
  • March 21, 2019
Creator
  • Lanier, Michelle
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of American Studies, Folklore Program
Abstract
  • This thesis explores the transformative and spiritually-affirming impact that can occur when a folklorist of faith engages with a community's faith practice. In this case that faith practice is the tradition of home going, or funerary mourning, within the Gullah/Geechee community in and around St. Helena Island, South Carolina. Furthermore, this thesis reveals a narrative of personal and communal healing as the author engages her own loss in the presence of grief, within a community that she has, at times, called home. Home going serves as the vernacular vocabulary for funerals and their associate wakes, repasts, and memorials in a contemporary, Gullah/Geechee context. Home going also serves as a birthplace for the concept of a Spirit-centered ethnographic journey. This thesis both defines and utilizes Spirit-centered ethnography as an ideology that intentionally moves the ethnographer through vulnerability (as defined by Ruth Behar) to a place of reciprocity and service.
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  • In Copyright
Advisor
  • Harris, Trudier
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  • Open access
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