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Xurugwi Funeral Rites

The Xurugwi funeral rites stem from the concept that once dead, a person no longer needs what they had in life. Everything they had, including the body, is given to those who do have a need for it.


The earliest known evidence of a Xurguwi funeral comes from a site in Nefrale dating back to the 3rd century, where finger bones were found, indicating excarnation. This particular site was found in a wooded area, though similar sites have been found in plains, mountains, and even along the coastline, though the burials have always been kept out of rivers or other sources of drinking water. For most of history, the process has remained the same: the deceased is delivered on a woven mat to an area chosen by the family and left to be eaten by the animals in the area. Originally, the bones were then removed and made into jewelry. Often, a bone necklace is given to the next baby born in the community, as it is believed this might be the dead reincarnated, and having the bones of their old body may help them carry the wisdom of a past life into a current one. In later years, however, this practice came to be seen as taboo and the bones were more likely to be buried or ground up/burned and scattered. While excarnation is still practiced by many Xurguwi followers today, it is more common that practitioners have their organs given to others, or otherwise have their bodies donated to the furthering of scientific study.


There is little ritual in a Xurguwi funeral. It is believed that the soul does not need any help from the living, and therefore funerals are for the living to commune in memory and to help them prepare for the rest of their lives without this person. Everyone in the community is invited to attend the funeral. The procession takes the body and leaves it in the place of the family's choosing (or, sometimes the place that deceased chose in life), and each person has the opportunity to say what wisdom the dead passed on to them. Then the community gathers at the family's house, and the family distribute the things which belonged to the deceased to others. This can be according to what the family sees fit, or how the deceased asked for these belongings to be distributed. If the belongings are not all distributed at the time of the funeral, they may be distributed later by the family. The idea to is to present items to those who need them, as they are no longer needed by the dead. This is usually followed by a meal, hosted by the community.

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