New Orleans: Celebration of Life

New Orleans boasts a large than life culture, expanding into their death rituals. From their location to its people, the Jazz City is certainly one of the most unique places in America. Within their death rituals is influence from several cultures as well as an alternative available from the Judeo-Christian funeral services found throughout the country. The psychological impact of death is also adjusted due to the style of mourning done in New Orleans, but is a clear fit for the people and particular culture.

New Orleans is well known for its mixture of culture and overabundance of music and celebrations. In approaching death, the city in Louisiana uses the same approach they would in any circumstance; they throw a party. Founded in 1718 by French colonists, New Orleans became part of the United States in 1803 with the Louisiana Purchase. With an influx of slavery, including African and Caribbean nationalities, New Orleans began to boom culturally but had more than its fair share of experiences with death. Since its founding, New Orleans has faced hurricanes and other natural disasters making death a common occurrence. A few years after being settled, a hurricane almost wiped out the colony and since then the grim reaper has made it a regular stomping ground.

In coping with death, the settlers drew upon various needs from the vast cultural riches of the people being brought to New Orleans. Mixing practices from voodoo, which is still practiced there today, as well as from the aristocratic air of the French, New Orleans almost seems like a world apart from the “typical” American city. Since New Orleans is also a major port, it’s allowed for further exchange of culture and goods funneling into the often calmer waters of the Gulf of Mexico. With West African, Caribbean and French influences, the death rituals found in New Orleans are as diverse and flavorful and the restaurant district’s famous menus.

Early settlers faced some challenges with burials. With a high water table, the area doesn’t allow for deep burial without filling the hole and causing the casket to actually float. As seen in the Caribbean where there are similar issues, the inhabitants opted for above ground tombstones. Certainly using the influence of the transplanted populous, the streets weren’t flooded with the dead as would have been the case if settlers had used the common burial practices throughout America. These tombstones are often made of stone or concrete, alleviating issues with wooden parasites. The rows of above ground structures mimicked small buildings, with some having ornate decoration. These graveyards are often referred to as “Cities of the Dead” with tours available that point out some of the more notable gravesites (Experience New Orleans, 1999).

Haitians were among the transplanted slaves from the Caribbean placed in New Orleans. Their Voodoo practices found their way into the main culture including the belief that celebrating after death pleases the spirits who protect the dead. For the remainder of the inhabitants- superstitious or not, the celebrations became the social norm and a funeral style quickly emerged which joined several cultures. African slaves also brought their call-and-response style of music and chant along with drums and dancing as part of their funeral rights. Music being such an important part of the region was largely propelled with the jazz movement which became deeply incorporated with the funeral rites as the main catalyst for musical style (Burns, 2001.)

The Jazz Funeral is perhaps one of the most iconic experiences for the city. While death it typically difficult for any culture, these funerals offer a balance between grief and joy as mourners are lead by a marching band. Sorrowful music is played as the group makes their way to the gravesite, allowing people their time to mourn in the way most do in America. Upon burial, an upbeat tempo takes over and cathartic dancing is often included. This celebration of life occurs rather than a solemn procession seen in many American death rituals, making it unsavory to some around the country. Using the eclectic jazz music popularized in the area, a band leader takes a parade of loved ones and attendees through the streets. What some would consider parade attire, the decked out band blasts happy jazz tunes while the travelers make their way from gravesite. The intention is to help the deceased find their way to heaven while celebrating their release from Earthly bonds, which historically included slavery.

In America, this type of funeral was mainly practiced in the deep south by African-Americans, but wasn’t recognized by the Catholic church. This limited the service to black protestants and became the choice among impoverished people and musicians. As the 19th century ended, the movement grew and more people were able to afford the service. With additional social clubs and insurance policies assisting with funeral costs, funerary jazz bands became popularized including the famous Dirty Dozen Brass Band (Funeral Wise, 2018). With horse drawn hearses decorated to the hilt and full parades for pillars in the community, these services remain the cultural norm in New Orleans. Over time, the music has incorporated modern rock and r&b into hymns and gospel with it’s big band jazz flavors. These funerals have gained processions in the thousands and is becoming popular even with those not from the area.

The iconic funeral isn’t limited to any particular race or gender. It’s popularity has resulted in persons from all over the world to have their funerals in New Orleans. Even celebrities not from Louisiana such as Nicolas Cage are opting to be buried in New Orleans to have the full funeral procession (Monteverde, 2017). While space is limited due to size constraints, it appears that those who can afford it are opting for a memorable experience for their loved ones and city dwellers.

Not all of these services are for a single person. In 2006, a large Jazz Funeral was held in memory of the 1,700 persons who lost their life in the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. It was held at the Convention Center where a year earlier, those displaced from their homes sought refuge from the natural disaster (Taylor, 2000). By honoring the people and their native culture, this service was supported by the government with the National Guard lending support and being involved in the procession. Among one of the more recent and certainly largest processions in the region, this funeral service broadcast worldwide gave people an opportunity to see and understand the culture better.

As the “most unique city in America” New Orleans uses its rich music and cultural melting pot in their death rituals. From a woeful walk to the site to a boisterous celebration of life, the quintessential Creole death includes these services. It may not be everyone’s particular cup of tea, but for the people of New Orleans, the Jazz Funeral is iconic and will remain as long as the city stands.

Calculate the price
Make an order in advance and get the best price
Pages (550 words)
$0.00
*Price with a welcome 15% discount applied.
Pro tip: If you want to save more money and pay the lowest price, you need to set a more extended deadline.
We know how difficult it is to be a student these days. That's why our prices are one of the most affordable on the market, and there are no hidden fees.

Instead, we offer bonuses, discounts, and free services to make your experience outstanding.
How it works
Receive a 100% original paper that will pass Turnitin from a top essay writing service
step 1
Upload your instructions
Fill out the order form and provide paper details. You can even attach screenshots or add additional instructions later. If something is not clear or missing, the writer will contact you for clarification.
Pro service tips
How to get the most out of your experience with MyhomeworkGeeks
One writer throughout the entire course
If you like the writer, you can hire them again. Just copy & paste their ID on the order form ("Preferred Writer's ID" field). This way, your vocabulary will be uniform, and the writer will be aware of your needs.
The same paper from different writers
You can order essay or any other work from two different writers to choose the best one or give another version to a friend. This can be done through the add-on "Same paper from another writer."
Copy of sources used by the writer
Our college essay writers work with ScienceDirect and other databases. They can send you articles or materials used in PDF or through screenshots. Just tick the "Copy of sources" field on the order form.
Testimonials
See why 20k+ students have chosen us as their sole writing assistance provider
Check out the latest reviews and opinions submitted by real customers worldwide and make an informed decision.
Business and administrative studies
excellent job! got an A, thank you
Customer 452773, May 24th, 2023
Business and administrative studies
Thanks
Customer 452773, March 3rd, 2023
English 101
IThank you
Customer 452631, April 6th, 2021
Social Work and Human Services
Great work I would love to continue working with this writer thought out the 11 week course.
Customer 452667, May 30th, 2021
Business and administrative studies
excellent paper
Customer 452773, March 3rd, 2023
Business and administrative studies
excellent, got a 100
Customer 452773, May 17th, 2023
FIN571
excellent
Customer 452773, March 15th, 2024
Business and administrative studies
Thank you
Customer 452773, March 19th, 2023
Business and administrative studies
Excellent work ,always done early
Customer 452773, February 21st, 2023
Nursing
Impressive writing
Customer 452547, February 6th, 2021
Human Resources Management (HRM)
excellent job
Customer 452773, July 17th, 2023
DATA565
The support team was late responding , my paper was late because the support team didn't respond in a timely manner. The writer of the paper finally got it right but seems there was a problem getting the revisioin to me.
Customer 452773, April 7th, 2024
11,595
Customer reviews in total
96%
Current satisfaction rate
3 pages
Average paper length
37%
Customers referred by a friend
OUR GIFT TO YOU
15% OFF your first order
Use a coupon FIRST15 and enjoy expert help with any task at the most affordable price.
Claim my 15% OFF Order in Chat
Close

Sometimes it is hard to do all the work on your own

Let us help you get a good grade on your paper. Get professional help and free up your time for more important courses. Let us handle your;

  • Dissertations and Thesis
  • Essays
  • All Assignments

  • Research papers
  • Terms Papers
  • Online Classes
Live ChatWhatsApp