This article describes the operational practices of the city morgue in Santiago, Chile
and their effects on the family members who come to claim the bodies of their loved ones.
It explores the impact of the body‘s passage through the morgue on the observance of
rituals surrounding death and mourning. An underlying conflict can be identified between
the states partial appropriation of and interference with the body and intrinsic needs
associated with the performance of funeral rites in accordance with cultural and religious