After reading Russell Belk article “Possession and Extended self”. There are several points I take away from it. However, if I understand correctly, Belk is making the connection with the relationship between humans, and their connection to possessions. Also, Belk states “Extended self is not limited to external object, but also includes Person, place, body parts and vital organs.” I can clearly relate to his point about the extension of possessions. Humans consider their children, spouse, and family and close friends their own property. The article makes a great connection from birth. This is seen as a mastery of possessions and human development. For example, according to Freudian and other psycho-analytic theories, infants begin life being unable to distinguish self from environment, including mothers. As infant develop their motor skills objects that can be controlled are seen as self. However, the objects that can’t be controlled are seen as environment. This explains the origin of this development. Possession helps people manage their identity. Also, helping old people have a sense of continuity. Contamination is a particular process of self -extension. It can be good or bad, as discussed in class we can be contaminated in different way. For example, we can become contaminated through association with an individual.
In the articles “The Culture of Death and the Afterlife” I notice different cultures have unique ways of approaching death. It appears like death is welcoming, the term “Memento Mori” translates to remember that you are mortal, death is anticipated. For Christian this term serves a moralizing purpose. For Christians, it reminds them of emptiness, personally for me death makes me feel lost. This approach of death is unusual, which brings me to Luke A. Filder essay “impression from face of corpse”. In this essay he discusses the way students and other artist created craft and images from dead people. In the essay different artist felt different, and went back and forth on weather, mask made from dead people or sculpted images give a better description of the person their portraying. The idea is that, Death mask made from dead people gives a sense of realness. However, others artist and historian’s feel the complete opposite. The argument made is that “you can see the traces of death and material facts of plaster in each faces. The idea is when people die rigor mortis has set in. Other might see death mask to be used as a memorial and surviving relative might choose to hold on to these lasting memories.
I found this interesting article and attached it for you to read, one of many reasons why one might want to hold on to death mask.

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