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After seeing the water that marked the end of our journey, we hooted and hollered, piled into our canoes and headed toward the first campsite we could find. With the lake to ourselves, I tried to put my mind at ease.


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Canoes were unloaded, turned upside down on the shore and camp chores commenced. The tent was raised, campers dispersed in search of wood, bundles piled up and the campers ran back to the fire grate with fistfuls of birch bark, ready to get warm by the fire.

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Come here, fast. I ran toward the noise and came to a clearing where I saw the camper holding a shiny hand saw. I told him not to worry, that it was probably someone from the Forest Service doing campsite maintenance and that we should go back to the fire with the rest of the group. Weighting the saw in my hands, I thought about how weird it was for someone from the Forest Service to actually do that. They teach Leave No Trace ethics, and this saw was nice. I never liked to lie to the campers on my trips, but I figured he might sleep better not worrying about why a new saw would be in the middle of the Boundary Waters.

The more I thought about it, I wanted to sleep better not worrying about this saw. I tried to focus on the group, and leaned the saw against the fire grate.

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Later, as we slid into sleeping bags and settled in for bed, I looked out the tent screen at the fire grate, wondering what to do with the saw. Deciding there was nothing I could do about it that night, I nodded off trying to read my book, the hum of mosquitoes on the other side of the screen keeping me company. I woke up to the first warmth of the sun, facing east toward the fire grate. Groggy, as always, I lit a corner of birch bark to start a small cook fire for coffee.

I read my book by the fire until steam spilled over the top of the pot on the grate. The chaos of yesterday was finally mellowing out, the weather was better today and there was a light breeze that would push us the direction we needed to go.

Things were looking up, and as my first camper walked out of the tent I had a smile on my face, ready to crack some joke to start off the day. My mind started racing and I looked around frantically. In a somehow comparable, more moral rather than legal fashion, Numa sought to associate himself with one of the roles of Vegoia, from the religious system of the neighboring Etruscans by deciding to set the official boundaries of the territory of Rome, which Romulus had never wanted, presumably with the same concern of preserving peace.

The festival of the Terminalia was celebrated in the Roman calendar as a.

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During a short period, Terminalia was the last day of the year in Rome, and Regifugium was the first of the new year. Thus, Terminalia signified both spatial and temporal boundaries.

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But the augurs had read into the flight patterns of birds that the god Terminus refused to be moved, which was taken as a sign of stability for the city. Terminalia may have descendants in later customs, such as beating the bounds. In times past in Britain, especially because for centuries precise maps were unusual, it was common to make a formal perambulation of the parish boundaries on Ascension Day or during Rogation week.

Knowledge of the limits of each parish needed to be handed down so that such matters as liability to contribute to the repair of the church, and the right to be buried within the churchyard were not disputed.

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The priest of the parish with the churchwardens and the parochial officials headed a crowd of boys who, armed with green boughs, usually birch or willow, beat the parish boundary markers with them. Sometimes the boys were themselves whipped or even violently bumped on the boundary-stones to make them remember.

The object of taking boys along was supposedly to ensure that witnesses to the boundaries should survive as long as possible. The ceremony had an important practical purpose. Checking the boundaries was a way of preventing encroachment by neighbors; sometimes boundary markers would be moved, or lines obscured, and a folk memory of the true extent of the parish was necessary to maintain integrity of borders by embedding knowledge in oral traditions. Beating the bounds had a religious side in the practice which originated the term Rogation, the accompanying clergy being supposed to beseech rogare the divine blessing upon the parish lands for the ensuing harvest.

This feature originated in the 5 th century, when Mamertus, Archbishop of Vienne, instituted special prayers and fasting and processions on these days. This clerical side of the parish bounds-beating was one of the religious functions prohibited by the Royal Injunctions of Elizabeth I in ; but it was then ordered that the perambulation should continue to be performed as a quasi-secular function, so that evidence of the boundaries of parishes, etc.

Some locations have maintained traditions of beating the bounds, although now they are merely a quaint holdover with vague religious overtones. For me as an anthropologist this is a highly significant holiday. It emphasizes physical boundaries city limits, property lines etc. These are places and times of immense power and danger in all cultures, because on the cusp of them you are capable of mixing things up, and, thereby destroying the order of the world. Are dawn and dusk, day or night?

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They are both and neither. Why is a bride in the West traditionally carried over the threshold?