Rituals in Anthropology

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Amberlee Deauseault Anthropology 104 TA: Adriana People all over the world have different rituals. A ritual is a repetitive act that symbolizes events that have taken place in the past. Many times it can be religious, but it can also be a ceremony having to do with social customs. Rituals are repeated yearly or every couple years, it is not a ritual if it is only done once and never again. A pilgrimage physically takes someone from one place to another, whereas a ritual could be performed in one spot depending on what it is. The first part of a pilgrimage is separation; in the article “Run for the Wall” the riders leave their homes to embark on their trip across the country. The second part is the liminal stage where riders…show more content…
All of these rituals have different meanings to different people. For example, the Mikva, all women do this before they can be available to their husbands. It is a ritual washing that is supposed to purify the women. To many women this is just something they have to do, they were brought up to have a monthly Mikva washing. However, Dr. Myerhoff went to the Mikva in hopes that it would purify her and help her with her cancer. Also, she had gone just for the experience as an anthropologist but, it was mainly to better herself. Another ritual that was presented in the film was getting a Ghet. A Ghet is a religious divorce. Dr. Myerhoff was divorced from her husband legally but, when talking with the rabbi he explained to her that she is still married to his soul. Going through the Ghet released their souls from one another. To Dr. Myerhoff this ritual had a great affect because she was now free to love again. She had not been with another man since her divorce and once her soul was free she could do so. Another thing that Dr. Myerhoff did was change her name to a Hebrew name. By getting the Ghet and changing her name she now had a new identity in hopes that it would clear or at least help her cancer. To many people, changing their names just meant that they were changing ones destiny. However, Dr. Myerhoff was essentially changing her fate. These rituals are practiced by
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