Fremen Funeral Rite/DE

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The Dune Encyclopedia
This article or section refers to elements that appear exclusively in The Dune Encyclopedia.

When a Fremen died, the body had been run through the deathstill under the supervision of d Sayyadina and body fluids contained in a bag. A formal memorial service was conducted so that his shade would leave in peace and visit no harm on the tribe at the rising of the sunset on the evening of the death.

All the members of the sietch would gather around a mound made up of the dead's belongings and water bag. The naib would speak first reminding the others mat the moon rose for their lost comrade and would summon the spirit away that night. He would then declare himself a friend of the deceased, describe a time when he had personally been helped or taught by the dead person, take one item, and claim certain items for the deceased's family and the crysknife, which would be left with the remains in the desert.

The other members of the tribe would follow the procedure. A Sayyadina came forward last for the water bag to verify its measurement and to turn the water rings over to the appropriate person.

The tribe then chanted a prayer committing the spirit and their destinies to Shai Hulud. The sietch watermasters took charge of the bag and poured into the communal basin with the entire tribe serving as witnesses. The dead was honored thus by preserving the living after them survive with their fluids (dishonored members would never be afforded this honor).

The counters for water released by the bodies of Fremen who had died a natural death, or by those of strangers found in the bled who were treated as a water-gift from Shai-Hulud, were consigned to the care of the sietch's Naib and considered held in common by all the people. Those tallying the water once held by enemies killed in group combat were similarly treated.

When Paul Atreides]] killed Jamis in a Tahaddi Challenge, Paul's guilt over killing the man caused him to shed tears during the funeral rite. According to longstanding Fremen tradition, to weep during a funeral rite was said to be "giving water to the dead". This was regarded as a profound experience, and one by which the Fremen present were awed.

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