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Cremation Cremation Documents Cremation Legislation Cremation in Ghana Cremation Form

Although it is not known where and how human mortal remains were first disposed off, it is however true that in this mortal world, since the inception of humanity, or for the matter life in general, the need for the disposal of human remains after death, became necessary.

From time immemorial, mankind has disposed of the dead by six main methods:

  1. Earth burial or internment
  2. Cremation or consumption by fire
  3. Conservation or embalming
  4. Exposure to the open air
  5. Water burial
  6. Animal consumption

All these six methods are in practice by some people in some parts of the world. Of these, Earth burial and cremation are the both accepted and popular methods. We wish particularly to dwell on the advantages of cremation over the other methods as seen in the modern world especially by those who have practiced cremation as the only suitable method from time immemorial for disposing of the human body after death.
Cremation is known to have been practiced by the Greeks as far back as1500 BC during times of war. They cremated their brave men on the battle field and the ashes were gathered and sent to their homelands for ceremonial entombment. For those cremated, it was a matter of honour associated with valour and manly virtue.
The Romans followed the Greeks and cremated their military heroes. Cremation is belief that it helped to free the soul (or Spirit) from the flesh and it kept the dead body from harming the living. Cremation, though alien to Ghanaians, is known to have been practiced by the Indian community in Ghana for the past 70years.

Cremation is performed by two methods namely; the pyre method and the gas/electric method. In the pyre method, the pyre (pile) is made of firewood and the dead body, enclosed in an open coffin is laid on the pyre. The pyre is lit after the performance of Religious/ Traditional Faith and beliefs accordance with wishes of the deceased person. Fire reduces the dead body to ashes, and these ashes are collected and disposed of according to custom and sentiment by different people. For example Buddhists enshrine the ashes of the saints and ascetics in their temples, the best known being the temple. Ghanaians throw their ashes into the sea or bury them in their homes. The ashes of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru were sprinkled by helicopter over the fields of India according to his wishes, but Hindus and Buddhists generally immerse the ashes in funning water such as a river or a stream; sometimes the ashes are placed in an urn or taken to a cemetery for entombment in a family plot or in a columbarium.
In the gas / electric method, the dead body is placed in a concealed furnace and reduced to ashes in no time by the use of gas or electricity. Here again, the ashes are collected and disposed of according to the individual’s or family’s wishes or customs.



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