Ancestor Worship and Disrupted Continuity among Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Georgia
Due to the Russian-Georgian military conflict in 2008, thousands of eth- nic Georgians had to flee from their villages in South Ossetia and move to new settlements built for what were now termed internally displaced persons (IDPs). Through displace- ment, IDPs lost their connection with their places of origin and, consequently, their con- nection with their ancestry. Based on ethnographic research conducted in the Koda IDP settlement, the article explores how rituals related to the deceased help IDPs sustain be- longing to their family lineage. The article illustrates that verbal commemoration, and in particular toasting, gives IDPs an opportunity to maintain presence of the deceased within their social group. While verbal commemoration is sufficient for this, tangible objects also seem to play a significant role. The place of burial and the soil provide an opportunity for the continuation of the social group of the extended family and its constant re-creation.
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