Friday, April 1, 2011

Rites of Passage

Rites of passage are a cross-cultural occurrence. They have existed throughout history and may be a big factor in the development of a stable adult personality. In our Western cultures a familiar rite might be a sweet 16 birthday party, but in tribal cultures, coming of age ceremonies are much more complex and can be extremely scary.
As for the Sambia Tribe initiation begins at the young age of seven. This is when boys are removed from their maternal figure and all females, and are then placed into a special house with other males for the next 10 years. After being placed into this house the first stage of initiation is the boys skin will be pierced as a way of discarding any external contamination from women. The boys are then required to engage in heavy nose-bleeding, and are forced to eat sugarcane to make themselves throw-up as a way of internally cleansing their body's. Once the boys have been cleaned of any contamination they are required to eat semen because it is seen as vital to ignite masculine growth and strength.

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