Publication details [#14774]

Wiseman, Rob. 2019. Getting beyond Rites of Passage in Archaeology: Conceptual Metaphors of Journeys and Growth. Current Anthropology 60 (4) : 449–474. 26 pp.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
The University of Chicago Press Books


The specific work explores rites of passage and the way they interrelate to metaphoric concepts. More specifically, the author focuses on Van Gennep’s rites of passage which constitutes one of the most known models that explain ceremonial habits or formalities. By means of the Conceptual Metaphor Theory, the author claims that most rituals are grounded on the CHANGE IS MOVEMENT metaphor and exemplifies certain cases. In particular, he refers to rites that are associated with changes in the life cycle and are usually characterized by a transition from one social state to another. For instance, the idea of death is connected with certain rites and specific metaphors are employed such as metaphors relating to the growth of plants. Overall, the study shows that rites are also grounded on metaphoric mappings.