This paper deals with the case of a single girl buried as a bride in a Swiss mountain village. It is a local variant of the death-marriage or Totenhochzeit, a custom that must have been widespread in rural Europe. In the death-marriage the metaphor of death as marriage mitigates the opposition between life and death, because in contrast to death, the parting at marriage is not irreversible (Danforth 1982). Especially unmarried girls are buried as brides . As untimely dead, adolescents, virgins and symbolic brides serve as mediators in the opposition mentioned. ln a village, socially distorted by a loss of life, the death-marriage of the single girl probably was a strategy of the villagers to come to terms with death.
How to Cite
Venbrux, E., (1990) “A Death-Marriage'in a Swiss Mountain Village.”, Ethnologia Europaea 21(1), p.193-205. doi: https://doi.org/10.16995/ee.1294