Tamara & Yoshi Kametani

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In Search of the Crying Lady, 2011

color print, Dimensions Variable

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Placky were professional mourners that used to be an essential part of the Slovak funeral ritual. They were hired by the family of the deceased and would start the mourning process by coming to the house where the body was laid out and lament until the day of the funeral. The ritual was seen to have magical powers that would secure a respectful and definite leave of the deceased’s spirit from the house and from this world. Placky were usually older women – often widows that would perform in return for financial remuneration but also for beans or wheat.

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