Sunday, April 30, 2017
Coming of age rituals, then and now
In many primitive cultures, tradition has dictated that young men, soon after reaching puberty, undergo various tests of courage and fortitude before they could be considered full-fledged adults.
Young boys of the Satere-Mawe tribe in the Brazilian Amazon mark their 13th birthdays by putting their hands into specially woven gloves containing hordes of fiercely stinging bullet ants. They must keep their hands in the glove for ten minutes at a time without crying out, and must undergo this 20 times over the course of several months.
In Vanuatu, young men must prove their manhood by jumping off a 98-foot tower with only two bungee-like vines attached to their ankles to break their fall. For the jump to be considered a success, their heads must actually touch the ground before they are yanked back by the vines.
The Masai of Kenya and Tanzania get circumcised at puberty, but must not flinch during the procedure, or they will bring shame upon their families.
In ancient Sparta, when a boy turned 18, he had to go into the countryside, armed with only a knife, and kill as many state-owned slaves (helots) as he could.
The Mandan Indian tribe of North America would pierce a young man's chest, shoulder, and back muscles with wooden splints, then lift him by ropes attached to those splints. Crying out during this ordeal was forbidden. After the young man lost consciousness, he would be lowered to the ground again, and subsequently had to present his left hand for his pinkie to be chopped off.
Read More: https://justnotsaid.blogspot.com/2017/04/coming-of-age-rituals-then-and-now.html