Saturday, February 4, 2012

Sacrifice

Anthropologists take the term sacrifice in a wide sense as it is common to all the religions.It is not essential that it involves giving up something valuable but only that a symbolic gesture is made.This can   be a gesture recognizing the presence of a spirit or ancestor.Chinese mourners place rice on the graves of their deceased relatives and in many African societies people pour a very small amount of drink onto the ground for spirits or ancestors before drinking themselves.Extreme cases of human sacrifices are very rare.Most commonly animal sacrifice such as goat or a cow is slaughtered for the ancestors or god but actually eaten by the living people who perform the sacrifice.Evans Pritchard has described in great detail sacrifices done in Nuer Religion (1956).

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