I am a student who has always wanted to be an anthropologist, but I have been told that my major is too broad. So, I am currently majoring in anthropology and cultural anthropology. I was wondering why we need a ritual? In my opinion, humans have always lived in groups and had some sort of social structure. Now with the internet, I can find a lot of information about the different tribes and their cultures ritual for hire My question is, why did people hire for rituals?
It wasn’t surprising that so many students asked this question as an anthropologist studying rituals. In the end, the answer was no, which was most disappointing for them. We mark the most important moments of our lives with ceremonies, such as birthdays, weddings, college graduations, and holiday traditions. A ritual gives meaning to those experiences and makes them memorable.
Anxiety’s Response to Ritual
Cultures across the globe tend to perform more rituals in times of uncertainty, according to anthropologists. A spike in ritual activity is often associated with stressful events such as warfare, environmental threats, and material insecurity.
As my colleagues and I discovered in 2015, people’s behaviors become more ritualized during times of stress due to stress.
This situation, for many of us, causes anxiety. We are predisposed to this behavior due to our cognitive makeup. Predictions about the state of the world are hardwired into our brains. The ability to make predictions is limited when everything around us is changing. Making sense of current events requires knowledge of the past.
This is where ritual comes into play. There is a great deal of structure in rituals. The “right” way must always be followed and performed rigidly. In addition, they involve repetition: The same actions are repeated time and time. As a result, they can be predicted. Even though rituals do not directly influence the physical world, they provide a sense of control by imposing order on daily chaos.
Rituals strengthen Relationships
The coordination of collective rituals is essential. It is common for people to dress alike or move in synchrony when performing a group ceremony. The more they act together, the more they feel together.Our research suggests that coordinated movements increase trust between people and neurotransmitters linked to bonding.
Rituals create a sense of belonging and common identity in communities by aligning behavior and creating shared experiences. Participants in collective rituals are more generous and even have synchronized heart rates as a result of participating in them.
The study was conducted in a remote area of South Africa, where the Bantu people live in clans with their livestock. In this study, researchers observed traditional rituals that are part of everyday life in the region, such as the “festival of the dead,” where the relatives of the deceased come together to remember and grieve over their loved ones. During these ceremonies, people dress up in traditional clothes and wear masks. They dance, sing, make offerings to the ancestors, and spend the entire day together.
Tools For Resilience
Consequently, it is not surprising that people worldwide are creating new rituals in response to the Coronavirus crisis. A sense of structure and control can be regained through some of those rituals. Those in quarantine were encouraged by comedian Jimmy Kimmel and his wife to hold formal Fridays, even if they were alone at dinner.
The ages-old rituals of others have been reinterpreted for the 21st century. A Manhattan couple tied the knot under their ordained friend’s fourth-floor window when the New York City Marriage Bureau shut down due to the pandemic.
Some rituals celebrate new beginnings and rituals that serve as closures. Coronavirus victims are having virtual funerals to avoid spreading the disease. The last rites have also been administered over the phone in other cases.