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Because of the heat, the dead are buried very quickly the same day. After the body is washed in the ritual way and oiled with sandalwood oil, the body is wrapped in a shroud [kuffan] and carried or driven on an angareb [wooden rope-strung bed] to the graveyard, where the body is buried. Men only attend the burial, and stand in rows reciting the Quran.
There are no family plots usually. The dead are buried in rows according to chronological order, and later black metal markers with name and date of death will be placed at the head and foot. In some places stones were used but undressed, or a low wall was built round the grave. If the deceased was a sheikh or holy man then staves with flags may be found placed at the graves, probably asking his help. Only very proninent sheikhs with a great following may have a gubba.
The cemeteries themselves are usually some way outside the villages and seldom enclosed.
For those who are used to European cemeteries, these seemingly neglected and unattractive graveyards will be of little interest.
Written Jan 31, 2007