Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964623 | Print ISBN: 9781412936361 | Online ISBN: 9781412964623| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
David O. Ogungbile
Seclusion is the separation of a person from a larger community to ritually celebrate the transition or passage from one stage to another. In some ways, seclusion is synonymous with the first phase of the three major phases (separation, transition, and incorporation) in the concept of “rites of passage,” that is, the rites associated with the human life cycle (naming, puberty, marriage, and death). In some other ways, seclusion marks the beginning of the initiation into cult, priesthood, or traditional political status. The practice also comes up with the renewal of the community's beginning or during critical moments of personal or communal crisis. Seclusion is highly significant in terms of its cultural, social, spiritual, and political structure and contents. Seclusion symbolizes a number of activities: cosmic journey, death and rebirth, cleansing and renewal, chaos and order, renunciation and transformation, power and authority, secrecy and knowledge, and identity and relationship. Seclusion ...