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Abstract

This article situates a cultural phenomenon of women’s memory work through clothing in Swaziland. It explores clothing as both action and object of everyday, personalized practice that constitutes psychosocial well-being and material proximities between the living and the dead, namely, in how clothing of the deceased is privately possessed and ritually manipulated by the bereaved. While human and spiritual self-other relations are produced through clothing and its material efficacy, current global ideologies of immaterial mortuary ritual associated with Pentecostalism have emerged as contraries to this local, intersubjective grief work. This article describes how such contrarian ideologies paper over existing global aspects of people’s entangled relations with the dead – in three biographies of women and their objects – thus showing that memory work is not limited to people, goods, or ideas that flow between nations and expanding notions of the global and gendered practices of personhood.

Publication Date

9-2015

Journal Title

Material Religion

Publisher

Taylor & Francis

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17432200.2015.1082719

Document Type

Article

Comments

This is an Author’s Original Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Material Religion in 2015, available online: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17432200.2015.1082719