Tag Archives: together

Ghost Hauntings as a Means of Familial Connections


An individual from Saratoga, California passes down the folk belief of ghost hauntings, a belief that has been present in her family for numerous generations. The belief comes via a family legend that was passed down to her. According to the legend, a distant relative was living in New York. The relative’s mother was living in California. The night that the mother passed away, despite being on the other side of the country, the relative was woken up suddenly in the middle of the night to find that the rocker that her mother had sat in for years began to rock. Supposedly, this was due to the soul of her mother clinging to the closest link between her and her daughter as a sign that she had passed but was still with her. This legend was passed down from generation to generation. My source continues to pass it on to her kids. Being an agnostic family, the legend is often viewed as confirmation that even when family members pass, the soul of each and every family member is still connected.


Half of this country believes in ghosts. Being convinced of their existence is nothing new. What I found interesting about this interaction is that rather than the ghosts being a vengeful spirit or a means of torturing the mortal world, the belief in ghosts was a means of reassurance in the everlasting bond family. Typically, ghost stories are cautionary tales or legends retold to startle other people. This, however, was a legend filled with optimism that despite passing away, your loved ones will always be present, giving hope to a family that does not practice any religion or faith with an after life.


Main piece

There’s a saying that she learned in Africa “ ubuntu”. It means humanity and compassion literally, but basically it’s similar to “it’s good to be together”.

There are 2 main tribes Shona and Ndebele (minority) where she’s from. Ubuntu is from this tribal language.

Background information (Why does the informant know or like this piece? Where or who did they learn it from? What does it mean to them?):

It’s a word like hakuna matata. It’s very commonly known. However, most people know it but don’t use it regularly.

Context (When or where would this be performed? Under what circumstance?):

Her native friends from her school taught her. It’s not used that often and only heard about it in school.

Personal Analysis:

This word seems to be a saying that’s passed down but not in colloquial speech. I can’t think of an English equivalent except unity. It’s definitely a part of the culture in Zimbabwe if everyone knows it.