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Cleanse: At Owerri, when a woman’s husband… | re/touch: an encyclopædia of touch and culture



At Owerri, when a woman’s husband dies, she is made to sit down that day in her hut on a small piece of wood and must refrain from touching any part of her body, as her hands are defiled. After her husband’s burial her hands are ceremonially washed by a female of the family, who rubs them with palm-fibre and a snail and chicken.

  • Source: Meek, Charles Kingsley. Law and authority in a Nigerian tribe: a study in indirect rule. New York: Barnes & Noble, 1970.
  • Culture: Igbo
  • Location: Africa