Navajo burial and funeral rituals follow a certain procedure because the Navajo believe that when a person dies he makes his way to the underworld. This process of burial and funeral rituals is followed diligently because the Navajo people want to ensure that the dead to do not return to world of the living.
When a person is about to die and the Navajo people know about it, they immediately remove the person to a separate place until he passes away. During this time only family members and the shaman are allowed close to the person. However, just before the person dies, all but a couple of people leave. The two people who stay back are the closest family members of the person and are those who are most willing to confront the evil spirits.
Once the person dies, two people, usually men, are given the responsibility of preparing the body for the burial. These men do not wear any clothes but rub their entire body with ash as there is a belief among the Navajo that the ash will protect the people from evil spirits.
The body is washed properly and then dressed. The grave is dug and the funeral is held as soon as possible. For the burial four men are present. All belonging of the person are brought to the grave site by one person, two help to carry the items to the grave site and the last man warns others who might walk that way to stay away.
Once the body is buried, the four men ensure that all footprints are wiped clean and the tool used for digging the grave is destroyed.
When it comes to Navajo burial and funeral rituals, you will not see much crying because the Navajo people believe that showing too many emotions will hinder the journey of the spirit to the underworld.
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