The World of the Dead as Viewed among the Negev Bedouin

in Anthropology of the Middle East
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  • 1 Ben-Gurion University
  • | 2 Independent scholar
  • | 3 Ben-Gurion University
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Human beliefs in resurrection and life after death, based on lasting exchanges between earth and heaven that prevail in human societies ubiquitously, are presented here and analysed with regard to the customs and rituals of the Negev Bedouin. The article looks at patterns of the mourning process and the different social functions and outcomes of that process. The influence of mystics and the Bedouin's views on death are discussed. Pre-Islamic burial practices and grave visits that reflect both legend and tradition are shown to be on the verge of change as they collide with proper Islam and modernity.


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