Anthropology Class Honors WCU with Rituals

On Wednesday, students dressed formally and ritual clowns of various cultures could be seen performing a ritual in front of the Alumni Tower.

This experiential learning activity is tied to Anthropology 365: Religion, Magic, and Myth.

The idea was to get students to understand what it takes to organize a ritual like this.

“They’ve been reading about this but had to actually put a ritual together to know that it takes time, effort, money, and teamwork to make it work right,” said Dr. Ted Coyle, an anthropology professor who was a key participant in the ritual.

The ritual itself was to honor Western Carolina University in light of upcoming changes.

Coyle said that WCU is experiencing many changes including new buildings, budget cuts, and suggestions to cut programs.

“All the new changes are helping to revive and renew the excitement of WCU,” said Ethan Clapsaddle, who participated in the ritual.

The ritual involved orators, who explained what is good about WCU, and ritual clowns, who mimicked wild people at Western but eventually encouraged and praised the orators.

Four students who were dressed formally, Casey-Rae Burgess, Steven Heatherly, Ethan Clapsaddle, and Daniel Johnson, spoke about what they think are the positive aspects of WCU.

There were also dancers, musicians, and artists involved who participated in the ritual and helped decorate.

“We should think about Western with good feelings,” said Coyle. “If we don’t, we won’t feel good about ourselves.”