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Ljupčo S. Risteski:

Posthumous Ritual Dance - Oro - in the Traditions of Balkan Slavs


The act of ritual dancing - oro - and singing in the posthumous ritual complex presents one of the most important ritual and magic activities in order to destroy or neutralize the effect of death, and at the same time, to protect the living members of the social community, as a whole.
This kind of ritual activity has been based on the traditional system of communication through symbols, in which the fact of life has to be set against the death. In that sense, the ritual-magic forms of posthumous dance (oro) and song present very powerful symbolical means. In these rituals, the mother of the dead child or the widow have most often been ritual actors. By including them in these rituals, the community shows wery clear, that selecting them as the ritual actors, makes the real choice, because they satisfy the ritual patterns for the successful realizing the magic aims. In these cases the women as the ritual actors have been put in a function of basic mediators between the imperiled social community and the causal of the destruction of the structure.

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