Robert Frost’s Ashes

Title: DOC ritual

Title: Robert Frost’s Ashes

Informant Info: Zohra Aslami was born in Loveland, Colorado on October 4, 1995. Her parents are from Afghanistan and migrated to the United States in 1990. After attending high school in Loveland, Colorado, she joined Dartmouth College in 2014 and is currently a sophomore.

Types of Lore: Customary

Language: English

Country of Origin: USA

Social Context and Cultural Context: The ritual was collected by personal memory. This ritual is part of DOC tradition and the participants are DOC leaders and members of their trip or “trippees”. It usually occurs at some point during the trip and is a method of fostering relationships between freshmen. As a freshmen Zohra was extremely excited to meet new people at Dartmouth and get to know her class. She chose to do Hiking 2 as her trip. She had heard a lot about the famous alumni about the college and traditions of the college, celebrating these figures. These traditions are meant to harbor a sense of bonding and a close-knit community.

Associated File: Interview


One day on freshmen trips, my trip leader carried with them hot cocoa powder and put it in an urn. They then tried to convince us that the urn contained Robert Frost’s ashes and that it was a tradition for one trip to get the ashes and to share and show it to their trippees. They then asked us to eat the ashes or else have bad luck throughout our Dartmouth careers. We were very hesitant and all looked at each other and nervously laughed. We had never heard of something so absurd but then one of the other freshmen sprang up and said, “I’ll do it!” My trip leader then opened the urn and brought out a spoon and gave to the guy. The guy took the spoon and scooped out some of the cocoa powder and took a bit on is finger and burst out laughing. He then looked and told us it was definitely cocoa powder. We then proceeded to ask them what other pranks they have heard about or played. And as we joined the other trips at the Moosilauke Lodge, we joined others members of our class and discussed the same things.

Informant’s Comments: 

Collector’s Comments:

Key Words: DOC, Robert Frost, Trips

Zohra Aslami, Age 20

Dartmouth College

Hanover, NH

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