Rituals in anthropology

Rituals are a significant part of our society and the way we live our lives. They are important because they give us a sense of security and loyalty to a group. Rituals are also a main aspect of religion, and studying the differences among cultures helps us gain a greater understanding of how rituals influence our lives. We perform rituals to demonstrate our values and beliefs, to pray, and many times to reinforce unity within a group. Certain rituals become so fixed in our everyday routine, we don't realize we are performing them. Anthropologists believe that ritual has existed since the very beginning of our time. Some believe that it is ritual that has kept us here so long, and without this regular practice, we would not have the security or solidarity needed to survive. Invariably, there are things in life that we cannot control, no matter how hard we try. Rituals are a way of increasing our command while creating a comfort zone. The articles that are going to be discussed deal with ritual in ancient societies, the way they relate to modern rituals and the presence of rituals in a cultural activity such as baseball.
Thefirst article Rituals of Death: Capital Punishment and Human Sacrifice is a unique comparison of ancient Aztec rituals of human sacrifice in Mexico and capital punishment in America. Human sacrifice was a part of the offerings for the gods, whose hearts and blood were considered the supreme gift. Similarly, capital punishment can be seen has a modern day form of human sacrifice. In this article Elizabeth Purdum compares these two'rituals' with an analysis of each according to the sequential order in which the rituals are performed.
She begins by giving a brief explanation of who is put to death. The Aztecs sacrificed an estimated total of 20,000 to 250,000 people annually.Most of the human sacrifices were male war captives from other tribes, and sometimes children sold to priests by poor….


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