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DOI: 10.5593/SGEMSOCIAL2016/B32/S08.010

MIRRORS AND REFLECTIONS OF IMAGES IN ANCIENT CULTS OF THE DEAD

V. Seglins, A. Kukela
Friday 30 September 2016 by Libadmin2016

References: 3rd International Multidisciplinary Scientific Conference on Social Sciences and Arts SGEM 2016, www.sgemsocial.org, SGEM2016 Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7105-77-3 / ISSN 2367-5659, Aug 24-31, 2016, Book 3 Vol. 2, 73-80pp, DOI: 10.5593/SGEMSOCIAL2016/B32/S08.010

ABSTRACT
The tradition to stop the clocks, draw the curtains and cover all mirrors in the house right after the death of one of the inhabitants was still widely spread in the last century. It actually appeared only in the end of 18th century and the beginning of 19th century. This tradition mostly is associated with the Victorian time traditions and the raise of mysticism after the periods of great plague. The mirrors were used also by grave-diggers to ascertain the death of the deceased and make sure there are no signs of life left. The short-lasting tradition of putting the cullet of mirror into the grave appeared in Europe along with the belief that broken mirror can cause misfortune or even death. In the same time, mirrors were used in numerous cults of the dead and their meaning was quite different. Most of them are related to reflections, transparency and deformed images, as well as various interpretations of the visage. There are several general regularities traceable in prehistoric and the following historic times. Most of them reflect the initial provenance and fragmentary heritability of many modern beliefs and customs that were simplified only during last centuries and in general pertained to mirrors and reflections in them.

Keywords: reflective surfaces, amber, mirrors, death rituals, superstitions


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