African puberty rites of passage ceremony-Coming-of-Age Rituals in Africa: Tradition & Change - ANNIKA S. HIPPLE

Each person had a place and specific functions to perform, depending on gender, and age and rank in the homesteads 'umuzi'. Distinction between members of the umuzi was reinforced by the fact that every individual passed through a number of well-marked stages, none of which could be entered into without preparation and ceremony. The first stage in the transition from childhood to adulthood was marked by the qhumbuza or ear-piercing ceremony, which every child had to undergo before reaching puberty. The next stage in the life of the individual was the attainment of physical maturity, or puberty. In early times, this was the occasion for an important initiation ceremony called the thomba, which applied equally to boys and girls.

African puberty rites of passage ceremony

African puberty rites of passage ceremony

The fact is that in order to produce a society that is focused on the best interest of the community requires a Amateur schoolgirl system that is designed to produce community-oriented responsible adults. During this festival, masks representing all aspects of the Dogon world enter the village to reestablish order and drive out any remaining spirits that might bring chaos to the community. A boy stands with a chicken balanced on his head, while fetish priests kill the bird by pointing their knives at it from a distance of several feet. A growing literature on Black youth supports the adaptive value of unique patterns of African centered methods of socialization and behavior modification, as well as subjective cultural resources such as strong bonds with Black role models Asante, ; Jagers, ; Hill, In most traditional African societies, the worlds of the living and the dead are perceived as equally real. These rites are linked to individual African puberty rites of passage ceremony community development. African coming-of-age rituals have traditionally been seen as consisting of three main phases: separation from the community, a period of transition African puberty rites of passage ceremony liminality and reincorporation into society.

Female escorts charleston sc. Transition from Childhood to Adulthood

Many western societal rituals may African puberty rites of passage ceremony like rites of passage but miss some of the important structural and functional components. If no rules riges been broken, the next stage of preparation takes place with the slaughtering of another goat, which is dedicated to the ancestors. Courtship and marriage traditions vary greatly. The guidelines of choosing the council members should be clearly established and African puberty rites of passage ceremony chosen by vote. An older person could be a thief or drunkard, an evil person, or could be someone who never married and had children, and thus these examples would certainly prevent a person from being rotes a respected elder. After reading through, join the showyourselfie campaign today and submit your visual petition for youth onto www. This dramatization is reinforced graphically and concretely pubery effigies of past obas that have been cast in bronze and placed on ancestral altars around the palace compound. The transition liminal phase is the period between states, during which one has left one place or state but has not yet Africqn or joined the next. This account has been deactivated. After the burial of his father, the Sexy club schedule zuerich begins a year-long process Fem joy mia separating from his role as a prince, enters the liminal Aftican, and finally is incorporated into Edo society in his new role as the divine earthly ruler, the oba of Benin. The above general outline of the African initiation rites is a summary of the complete system of rites that have enormous implications for Black communities in various parts of the diaspora. If for any reason she is not able to bear children, the contract between the families can be abrogated. The purpose of this Africzn is to allow Amish youth the opportunity to see and experience the world beyond their culture and upbringing.

A rite of passage is a ceremony or ritual of the passage which occurs when an individual leaves one group to enter another.

  • A rite of passage is a ceremony or ritual of the passage which occurs when an individual leaves one group to enter another.
  • This powerful exhibit of African tribal ceremonies reflects 30 years of commitment to preserving the endangered cultures and peoples of 90 tribes across Africa.
  • The five rites are birth , adulthood , marriage , eldership , and ancestorship.

Prudence International Magazine. These are just two examples of the elaborate coming-of-age rituals with which traditional societies throughout Africa have marked the passage from childhood to adulthood. In parts of the continent, these traditions remain strong, while in others, changing social, economic and political conditions have had a profound influence on the extent to which these ceremonies are performed and the forms the rituals take.

Unlike in many Western societies, where the boundary between childhood and adulthood is often blurred, traditional African rites of passage mark an unambiguous transition with an associated change of status, roles and responsibilities. African coming-of-age rituals have traditionally been seen as consisting of three main phases: separation from the community, a period of transition or liminality and reincorporation into society.

During the transition period, initiates learn the skills necessary to participate in society as adults. The traditional length of seclusion varies from a period of days or weeks to several years. Among the Krobo of eastern Ghana, girls are secluded from three weeks, during which they are trained in appropriate female behavior, personal grooming, domestic skills, dance and the art of seduction. Ritual songs, dances and masks or other artwork feature prominentaly in many initiation rites.

Among the Nkanu people of Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, specialized sculptors create masks, figures and carved panels that are used to educate initiates about symbolic meaning, appropriate and inappropriate behavior and other adult knowledge. The most important masks represent ancestral spirit forces that are believed to sanction the initiation and protect the youths during the ritual. At the end of the initiation, these masks are displayed to the community.

The transition period often involves various tests and ordeals, many of them painful. Depending on the ethnic group, these trials may involve physical marking such as circumcision or other body scarification without the use of anesthesia.

These ordeals reflect the belief that pain is an important part of becoming an adult. For the Maasai of East Africa, circumcision represents the beginning of adulthood for both boys and girls. Boys must endure the operation without flinching or crying out, while girls are allowed to show pain but cannot marry or bear legitimate children within Maasai society if they refuse to undergo the procedure.

Many initiations culminate with a supreme test. In Ethiopia, Hamar boys complete the Jumping of the Bulls, a ritual in which they must leap over the backs of 20 to 40 bulls in order to demonstrate their manhood.

Young Maasai warriors must prove their courage by hunting lions with only a spear. Krono girls also undergo a final trial in which they are lowered several times onto a sacred stone in a test of their virginity. After completion of the isolation period, the initiates return to the community as fully fledged adults and are reintegrated through a public ceremony and celebration. After undergoing these rites of passage, both sexes are prepared for the responsibilities of adulthood and are allowed and expected to participate in society in fundamentally different ways.

For some groups, this change is so dramatic that the newly initiated aduly is given a new name and presented to the community as a different person. The emphasis placed on specific aspects of initiation varies greatly, with some ethnic groups placing greater importance on the physical tests of bravery and toughness, others emphasizing spiritual aspects, and still others focusing on practical education.

In any case, the bonds that develop between initiates during the period of seclusion and trial usually last a lifetime. Both coming-of-age rituals and circumcision are still widely practiced today but have frequently become separated from one another, even in places where they traditionally went hand in hand. Anthopologist Ylva Hernlund, who has conducted extensive fieldwork in Gambia and had authored or edited numerous publications on FGC, notes that in many places, coming-of-age rituals still take place that have nothing to do with circumcision while in other parts of the continent, especially in the Horn of Africa Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somalia , circumcisions are performed on both boys and girls without any ritual context at all.

The procedure is still practiced in 28 African countries, most located in a belt stretching across the continent at its widest point, from Senegal and Mauretania in the west to Somalia in the eats, with Egypt and Tanzania extending out from the belt to the north and south.

The prevalence varies from country to country and between ethic groups and geographic regions within countries. WHO classifies FGC into three different types according to severity: clitoridectomy removal of the clitoral hood with or without removal of the clitoris , excision removal of the clitoris as well as all or part of the labia minora and infibulation removal of part or all of the external genitalia, including the clitoris, labia minora and labia majora, followed by the stitching of the vaginal opening to leave only a small hole for urine and menstrual flow.

A number of health risks are associated with FGC, particularly for the more severe forms of the procedure. Long-term effects may include cysts and abscesses, urinary incontinence, psychological and sexual problems, and difficulty with childbirth. In addition, a WHO study found that babies born to mothers who had undergone FGC experienced higher death rates than those born to mothers who had not.

The practice has been outlawed in many African countries, but until recently few efforts have been made to understand or change the cultural underpinnings of the practice. As a result, in many places the rituals have simply been driven underground or have been tacitly allowed to continue due to difficulties in enforcing the ban. Ahmadu argues that most Kono women willingly perpetuate the ritual because they see it as a way to preserve female sources of power and authority, as well as promote characteristics such as strength, tenacity, endurance and fearlessness in young women.

For many African ethnic groups, such as the Kono of Sierra Leone and the Dogon and Bamana of Mali, genital cutting reflects traditional beliefs about gender and duality. The clitoris is believed to be a male remnant that must be cut away to make a girl a complete woman. Similarly, the male foreskin is seen as a female remnant that must be removed to make a true man. The purpose of these operations is to create an unambiguous gender identity. The Mandinka see initiation as intimately connected to the physical act of circumcision, which, in turn, is closely related to Islam.

Islam came early to West Africa and, in most places, mixed with traditional African animistic beliefs to create a syncretic form of the religion that is quite different from its more orthodox forms. For many African women, the practice is an essential part of womanhood. These complex cultural underpinnings have created a situation in which even women who say they are against the practice often perpetuate it.

They have mixed feelings. The societal pressures on young girls can be intense. In , a year-old Kenyan girl died after trying to perform FGC on herself. In South Africa, where FGC is not practiced, serious issues related to male initiations have prompted the government to introduce legislation requiring initiation schools to be licensed and regulating the conditions under which circumcisions may be performed.

In , a young Xhosa man was beaten to death during a circumcision ritual, and two years later, another boy died from malnutrition after being isolated with his age mates in the mountains without food. Botched circumcisions by traditional surgeons have led to highly publicized deaths and injuries.

In the past several years, dozens of South African boys have died and scores of others have been hospitalized as a result of circumcision-related infections and other complications.

The health risks associated with unsanitary male circumcisions in traditional, non-sterile environments have led to the increasing medicalization of the practice throughout Africa, with more and more boys being circumcised in hospitals by trained medical personnel. In Guinea-Bissau, Johnson says, many boys are now circumcised in the hospital at an early age. Male circumcision is getting safer and safer. The question for female circumcision is, do you take the idealistic view that medicalization is legitimizing female circumcision or that it is harm reduction?

The anti-FGC campaign has influenced the practice of initiations throughout Africa, and the Christian church has also worked to discourage traditional rites, with varying degrees of success.

In addition, a stricter form of Islam, more similar to that practiced in the Middle East, has recently spread across the region, leading to new changes in traditional rituals. For example, ritual masks were traditionally a way to connect with particular spirits. The increasing modernization and globalization of African society are also having an impact.

What is the value of learning about the harvest and traditional life cycles if you are a computer programmer? Financial limitation have caused many rituals to become shorter of less frequent, while modernization means that the lives of African youth are now tied to school schedules rather than to the land, putting further constraints on the length of time that can be devoted to rites of passage.

Even as many cultural aspects of initiation have fallen away, circumcision has not, and the age at which the procedure is performed has been decreasing throughout Africa. The rite concludes with a coming-out ceremony in which the girls are presented to the entire community as mature adults. The alternative rituals have met with varying degrees of success.

Some parents who oppose FGC for their daughters do not see the value of the alternative rituals while others see them a an important way of bringing back many of the cultural traditions that had been disappearing. In the Kuria district of Kenya, girls attended the first alternative rituals in the season, but once they returned home, all but 80 of these girls were pressured into undergoing FGC after all. Various factors — the anti-FGC campaigns, the changing influence of Islam and Christianity, political upheaval, civil war, modernization, and financial and time constraints — have all had tremendous impacts on the practice of initiation rituals.

As Africa continues along the bumpy road of social change, these forces will only get stronger. How the various ethnic groups meet these challenges may well determine the ultimate future of these traditional rites of passage.

In Amish tradition, Rumspringa marks the time when youth turn 16 and are finally able to enjoy unsupervised weekends away from family. Before touching the pregnant woman, the woman acting as midwife, usually the grandmother, washes her hands in water that contains herbs prescribed by a traditional healer. Rather, African philosophy from one culture to another agrees that the spirit of the deceased is still with the living community, and that a distinction must be made in the status of the various spirits, as there are distinctions made in the status of the living. They would be marrying the person and their mission. Nor are all of them communal: many are personal, such as the passage from health to illmess.

African puberty rites of passage ceremony

African puberty rites of passage ceremony

African puberty rites of passage ceremony

African puberty rites of passage ceremony. Navigation menu

The 5 rites briefly described below represent an integrated initiation system that has given indigenous African cultures the stability and longevity to provide a model of consistency and inter-generational unity.

They represent a complete set of devices that prevent the inherent conflicts between various age groups or the systematic ill treatment of women, children, or elders. These problems are commonplace in western cultures, but they are virtually unknown in indigenous African cultures. The Rite of Birth is the first of the major African initiation rites and it involves initiating the infant into the world through a ritual and naming ceremony.

Nearly all African cultures hold that the infant has come from the spirit world with important information from that world, and is bringing unique talents and gifts to offer to the community. The infant, in fact, is believed to have been commissioned to come to the world and accomplish a particular mission or project, and often has a great message to deliver.

The Rite of Adulthood is the second major initiation rite and it is nowadays the most popular among the set of rites. Adulthood rites are usually done at the onset puberty age around years of age in many cultures and they are to ensure the shaping of productive, community-oriented responsible adults.

There is nothing automatic about youth being productive members of society, nor is there anything particularly difficult about transitioning from a child to an adult. This transition to adulthood is exceedingly difficult in Western societies because there are no systems of adulthood rites to systematically guide and direct the young person through this important stage in his or her life cycle. In Western culture adulthood is seen as a status achieved at the age of 18 or 21, or simply when the person graduates from high school.

Unfortunately, in most cases there is no fundamental guidance or transformation from a child to an adult that is required or expected. On the other hand, African societies systematically initiate boys and girls. The Rite of Marriage is the third major initiation rite and it represents not only the joining of two families, but also the joining of the two missions of the new couple.

In other words, the marriage rites are performed for not only the coming together of male and females to procreate and perpetuate life and the coming together of families, it is also an institution that helps both the husband and wife to best fulfill their mission and objectives in life. African society, on the other hand, does not emphasize individual looks and lust as the primary motivation for marriage, but rather the basic focus is on building families and communities.

The focus is on the collective more than the individual. A person is not generally considered an adult until they have married and had children. The Rite of Eldership is the fourth major initiation rite and it is an important component of the initiation system, because it is the elders who represent tradition and the wisdom of the past.

An older person has simply lived a longer life than most of people, but it not considered one who deserves high praise and respect. An older person could be a thief or drunkard, an evil person, or could be someone who never married and had children, and thus these examples would certainly prevent a person from being considered a respected elder.

An elder, on the other hand, is someone who is given the highest status in African culture because s he has lived a life of purpose, and there is nothing more respected than living a purposeful life.

The life of an elder is centered in the best tradition of the community, and is someone who has gone through all of the previous three rites, and is a living model for the other groups in the society to emulate. An elder is given the highest status and along with new infants because these two groups represent the closest links to the wisdom of the spirit world.

The last of the five major rites is the Rite of Ancestorship , which concerns passing over into the spirit world. There is virtually no African society that believes that when a person dies this ends all ties and communication with the living.

Rather, African philosophy from one culture to another agrees that the spirit of the deceased is still with the living community, and that a distinction must be made in the status of the various spirits, as there are distinctions made in the status of the living.

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After reading through, join the showyourselfie campaign today and submit your visual petition for youth onto www. But the age at which this happens, and how a child celebrates their rite of passage into adolescence, depends entirely on where they live and what culture they grow up in. Looking back, we'll never forget the majesty that was prom, or the excitement of hitting the dance floor at our friends' co-ed Bar and Bat Mitzvah parties, and why should we? Around the world, young Jewish boys and girls celebrate their Bar and Bat Mitzvahs at age 13 and 12 in order to demonstrate their commitment to their faith and recognize that they are now responsible for following Jewish law.

The tradition goes as so: they search the jungle for bullet ants which are sedated by a leader who submerges them in an herbal solution. The ants are then weaved into gloves with the stingers pointed inwards. An hour or so later, the ants wake up angrier than ever, and the initiation begins.

Each boy has to wear the gloves for ten minutes. Each boy will eventually wear the gloves 20 times over the span of several months before the initiation is complete.

Amish Coming of Age Tradition: Rumspringa. In Amish tradition, Rumspringa marks the time when youth turn 16 and are finally able to enjoy unsupervised weekends away from family. During this time, they are encouraged to enjoy whatever pleasures they like, be that modern clothing or alcohol. The purpose of this period is to allow Amish youth the opportunity to see and experience the world beyond their culture and upbringing.

In this way, returning to their community and way of life thus is entirely their choice. Those who return are then baptized and become committed members of the Amish church and community, marking the end of Rumspringa but they must do so before turning In many parts of Central and South America, young girls celebrate their Quinceanera when they turn 15 years old.

The coming of age tradition typically begins with a Catholic mass where the girl renews her baptismal vows and solidifies her commitment to her family and faith. Immediately following the mass is a fiesta where friends and family eat and dance. While less rooted in tradition, the 16th birthday is nonetheless an important one for American youth, as it marks the time when they are legally permitted to drive a car and with driving comes big-time freedom.

For some lucky teens the day is celebrated with an over-the-top party and potentially a new car, as documented on the the MTV show My Super Sweet In North Baffin Island, Inuit boys have traditionally gone out to the wilderness with their fathers between the ages of 11 and 12 to test their hunting skills and acclimatise to the harsh arctic weather. As part of the tradition, a shaman would be called to open the lines of communication between men and animals. In Malaysia, 11 is a special birthday for some Muslim girls, as it marks the time when they can celebrate Khatam Al Koran, a prestigious ritual that demonstrates their growing maturity at their local mosque.

Girls spend years preparing for this day, reviewing the Koran so they can recite the final chapter before friends and family at the ceremony. The Maasai of Kenya and Tanzania have several rites of passage that carry boys into manhood.

The night before the ceremony the boys sleep outside in the forest, and at dawn they return for a day of singing and dancing. After these festivities they are ready to be circumcised, making the official transformation into a man, warrior, and protector. Similar to other rites of passage the boys cannot flinch, because doing so would shame their families and discount their bravery.

After the ceremony takes places, marking their transition from warrior to senior warrior, they are entitled to marry the woman of their choice. Participants must successfully jump over a castrated, male cow four times while naked, symbolizing the childhood they are leaving behind them.

African Ceremonies: PASSAGES - African Ceremonies — Google Arts & Culture

Each person had a place and specific functions to perform, depending on gender, and age and rank in the homesteads 'umuzi'.

Distinction between members of the umuzi was reinforced by the fact that every individual passed through a number of well-marked stages, none of which could be entered into without preparation and ceremony. The first stage in the transition from childhood to adulthood was marked by the qhumbuza or ear-piercing ceremony, which every child had to undergo before reaching puberty. The next stage in the life of the individual was the attainment of physical maturity, or puberty.

In early times, this was the occasion for an important initiation ceremony called the thomba, which applied equally to boys and girls. During the initiation process, boys and girls of the same age went into separate seclusion, where they were taught by instructors on the requirements and duties of adulthood.

The period of seclusion was done away with after the introduction of the amabutho 'age-based regiments' system in the late 18th century. After the male thomba ceremony, the young boy was called an insizwa 'young man' and he was free to court girls of his age and in his group, but he was not free to marry. Two further rites of passage had to be performed before this was possible.

The first was his incorporation into a regiment, or ibutho, which could involve as many as 10 years of service to the king. The second was the sewing on of the isicoco or head-ring, which signified the attainment of full adulthood. The Reed Ceremony, which aims to inculcate a sense of pride in young women, has become a major event, attended by girls from the entire KwaZulu- Natal region.

Since , when the African National Congress came to power, attempts have been made to transform this ceremony into a multi-cultural event, but these have not been entirely successful. Young women also have coming-of-age ceremonies 'umemulo'. At these, the woman's family slaughters an ox from which she obtains a caul of fat which she wears while dancing for the assembled guests This fat symbolizes the protection her ancestors will afford her when she leaves her home to marry and live in another homestead.

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African puberty rites of passage ceremony

African puberty rites of passage ceremony

African puberty rites of passage ceremony