Continued from page 1

“That ox is slaughtered, cooked and eaten all in one day,” she said. In some regions no salt will be used to season the meat, but in the area of Mr. Mandela’s clan, that’s up to the family’s discretion, she added.

End of the mourning

A year after the burial another ox will be slaughtered and eaten by the family to mark the end of the mourning period, in a tradition called Ukuzila.

“There must be a time when the mourning is broken,” Ms. Mndende said.

Bringing-back ritual

About another year later, a joyous ceremony is celebrated to bring back the deceased into the family so that the person henceforth will be looking over the family and its children as a well-meaning ancestor, a ritual called Ukubuyisa, according to Ms. Mndende.