Dintin Aug 16th, 2014 (edited) 93 Never
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- Samjan are cremated, but social classes are burnt to varying levels of a crisp. The poor are usually reduced entirely to a fine black powder of charred flesh and bone before being stuffed in a pot and placed on the mantle.
- The middle class usually have a plaster cast taken of their face after death and then have their skulls left intact, either only burning off the flesh or stripping the flesh and cleaning the skull. The skull then plays a key role in the creation of a bust shaped in the likeness of the deceased, usually of plaster as it's the easiest to work with. The plaster bust may then be cast in metal or emulated in stone. Usually a small vase containing their ashes will placed on the mantle and then the bust of their head placed directly in front.
- Nobles and the rich will typically get a full body cast made, rather than just the head. Vatis will be present at the funeral to control the flames, and the bones will only be burnt until either blackened or the flesh is removed. Typically these vatis will be Priest of Surya, rather than run of the mill magic users. There are certain rites that must be carried out, various blessings and the priest must entreat Surya not to consume the disembodied spirit of the departed. The skeleton will then be used in conjunction with the full body cast to make a metal effigy of the departed, usually in the style of a relief, as in there is a flat back of metal and the image of the departed seems to rise out of it. The especially wealthy will hang this effigy from the wall in a tomb alongside other dead ancestors.
- Mourning is a long process. For the wife (or wives) of a dead man, it is expected to last the rest of their lives. A woman is never supposed to lay with more than one man, their husband, and to remarry after that man's death is considered pissing on his memory. Now, for some there are exceptions. Especially if the man was executed by order of the Shah or otherwise dishonored. The wives of men who are Banished may also remarry without fearing judgment. However, for most women the death of a husband means they will live the rest of their lives as widows, raising their former husband's household. Children are expected to show proper pain and loss for a period of several months, up to a year. Parents are expected to mourn far longer, especially if the deceased died young. For friends, acquaintances, and others not directly related to the deceased a month of grieving is considered acceptable.
- A Samjan's ancestors may occasionally be sought out for advice or guidance, and offerings are made to the dead twice yearly. Once at the end of the growing season and once at the beginning. The Samjan believe in reincarnation, so they are not necessarily asking the spirits of the dead for guidance. Rather it is a common belief that a dead relative will reincarnate as someone or something else close to their former family. A baby animal is often bought, to act as a receptacle for the deceased's spirit.
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