Coming of Age Rituals

18 Oct

Watch the videos listed below from the National Geographic website. For each video, complete the “Coming of Age” handout by answering the following questions: Describe the coming of age tradition and identify the culture it occurs within. Explain the purpose of the initiation or ritual for that given culture. Describe your reaction to this coming of age experience and whether or not you believe it is a sign of womanhood or manhood.

Initiation with Ants
In this remote Amazonian village, becoming an adult means sticking your hand into a swarm of angry, stinging giant ants.

Wearing a Glove of Venomous Ants
Pat takes on an Amazonian bullet ant ritual and is thrown into 24 hours of mind-numbing pain.

Fulani Initiation Rites
Benin boys move toward manhood by enduring the sting of a whip.

Apache Girl’s Rite of Passage
In New Mexico, the Mescalero Apache reservation prepares for a coming-of-age ritual. Over the span of four days, young Apache girls will pass through ancient tests of strength, endurance, and character that will make them women.

Knife Dancing
A ritual of passage for a South Korean girl requires dancing barefoot on top of sharp knives.


23 Responses to “Coming of Age Rituals”

  1. sap3786 October 19, 2011 at 5:52 pm #

    -Male Circumcision in South Africa- Boys are painted white, circumcised, and put in huts for weeks to heal. The procedure is a dangerous pain full process. It can become infected and men have died from it. Getting circumcised is a tradition where its the point where a guy becomes a man. until he is healed in the hut, he is not aloud to eat no fresh foods nor can he drink water. if he seeks medical attention or for help he will no ever be accepted. I believe that this isn’t something that should make you a man because its just showing that you can deal with pain and cruel practices.

    -Apache Girl’s Rite of Passage- 13 year old girl was given a ritual ceremony on july 4. the ritual and ceremony is given for girls to become women every 4th of july. A girl must stay calm and emotion free for 4 days. With out eating much food, showing any type of emotion, They must dance threw out the whole time the fire is lit. at the end she has become a woman. I think that everyone has there own culture and there own way to become a adult.

    -DAma- a celebration if for young men to go from boy hood to man hood. If a boy doesnt do the dama he him self considers him self as a woman. The ceremony is to contact the spirit that keeps him as a boy and to let it go. contacting the spirit tells him his future and who he will be. Dancing is a main part of the ceremony. Dama is one of the most important moments of a boys life.

    -Brothers versus bulls – before this ceremony is taken placed, a bull is picked out. over years or long time the bull is watched over very closely and treated just as well as a human. The bulls have had there horns sharpened, some times there has been times where they would splash lemon juice in the bulls eyes to make him angry. Also they have made the bull drunk to be more dangerous. The brothers will face the bull to become a man from being a boy. I think that this test is just a risky part of life where its almost like putting your life in serious danger.

  2. thomasmontalbano1 October 19, 2011 at 6:01 pm #

    The “Knife Dance” is a Southern Korean tradition involving dancing for hours, and eventually dancing on top of a dull blade. The purpose of this ritual is to remove bad spirits and summon good spirits into the bodies of the dancers. The tradition wasn’t as bad as I expected. I dont believe this is a coming of age tradition, and this should not prove manhood or womanhood.

    the Ant initiation is a coming of age ritual in an amazonian village, which involves someone placing their hands inside of gloves filled with angry, stinging ants. The purpose of this ritual is to prove that one is a true indian, and completing the ritual would require them to place their hands in the gloves 20 times. I was shocked when I saw that this was a test of manhood, and I do think that completing this task should consider you a man.

    In the Western African tribe known as the Fulani, the males and females both endure pain when approaching adulthood. The males had to endure 3 whips from a branch to make sure he was a man. The woman had tattoos done on her face to make sure she was ready to be married. I believe that the male ritual should prove manhood, because the person has to go through a lot of pain.

    -Thomas Montalbano

  3. sik9490 October 19, 2011 at 6:04 pm #

    Irie Kawasaki

    Initiation with Ants:
    In the Amazonian village, boys even as young as 12 have to stick their hands inside gloves with swarming angry tropical bullet ants that sting their hands. This has to happen 20 times or they would not be considered a true Indian or a warrior. When I saw this video all I thought about was how painful it would be. I don’t believe it’s considered becoming of age, but since they say that in order to become a man or adult, you must feel some kind of pain in life so I guess that’s why it makes sense.

    In the dogan village of comcacon in Mali, there is an event called the village Dama. This event can only be held after a good harvest, which doesn’t happen in this culture. it is a mask festival that honors decize stllers. It is to dogan manhood. If the males do not go through this, they will feel suspended between boyhood and manhood. No matter what age you are, if you are not initiated you are not considered a man, not even considering yourself as a man. I think that this is more understandable because it is at any age, and it is not painful.

    Apache Girl’s Rite of Passage:
    Beneath White Mountain in New Mexico, the Mescalero Apache reservation has a becoming of age ritual. Over four days, girls go through ancient tests to test their strength, endurance, and character to make them for womanhood. This ritual is held every Fourth of July. People prepare this for a year and invite guests. An all night dance tests her endurance. The girls that this happens to are happy and excited about it. I think that this becoming of age ritual makes sense and does kind of show how their strength, endurance and character can be tested into becoming a woman.

    Brothers versus Bulls:
    This is to test if you can control the wild animal (the bull) students are trained for this, and one slip can give you a lot of permanent damage to you boy and scars. The bulls horns are sharpened to make them even more dangerous and they put flowers on the bulls. They are big enough to kill a man. I understand the whole meaning of this, but I don’t actually think that it is necessary to show someone’s manhood, even though it shows whether the guy is strong enough or not.

  4. sen1547 October 19, 2011 at 6:06 pm #

    Knife Dancing: It happens in South Korea and a young girl does it once she has become the right age to become a shaman. The girl does several dances to get into a trace like state so spirits can talk out of them. Then they get on the knife edges and continue dancing. If a spirit announces itself through the girl, and if her feet do not bleed, she was successful and becomes a shaman. I do not think it is a good test because all the test determines is how thick the soles of your feet are.

    Dama: The dama is a ritual that happens in Mali, where by dancing, a man becomes a boy. It only happens after a good harvesting season, regardless of age. If a male fails to complete the ritual of the Dama, he will be trapped in between boyhood and manhood until he completes it. I do not think this is a good ritual because it only happens after a good harvesting season, so a man can be in his late 30s and 40s and still be a child if there has not been a good harvesting season.

    Initiation with Ants: This happens in some Amazonian village in which men show that they are “true” indians, or warriors. They have to stick their hands into gloves filled with bullet ants, and must leave them on for 10 minutes. The initiate must complete this task 20 times before they are considered warriors. I think for the tribe this is a good ritual, because it shows the mans dedication to the tribe. In order to be a good warrior, you must have good dedication to your cause (in this case the tribe).

    Brothers versus Bulls: This is a ritual that takes place in eastern Africa, in which boys become men by wresting down bulls that have been selected for their aggressive nature.The horns f the bull are sharpened, and sometimes given alcohol and squirted in the eyes with lemon juice to make them angrier. Then the boys as a team must wrestle the bull down with nothing but their hands. Based on the Hindu religion, this ritual is a way of showing the gods that you are powerful and worthy to be on earth. I think it is a good ritual if u believe in Hinduism, because it shows courage and determination, which are important qualities to have.


  5. divnae October 19, 2011 at 6:09 pm #

    The coming of age tradition, knife dancing, happens in South Korea. Girls must stand on knives and dance to talk in the voices of spirits, in order to reach them. I believe the experience would be hard. It is not supposed to be a sign of manhood but I think it does show dedication to the spirits.

    Fulani whipping occurs in West Africa. During this ritual, two boys from two different tribes must whip each other three times in the presence of other tribes. The boy who flinches less will win, bring honor upon his family/tribe, and be considered a “man.” Though it does show toughness, I think the ritual is unnecessary and painful.

    The Apache girl’s womanhood ritual includes the girl not showing emotion, having little food and rest, and dancing around a fire all night long. This is practiced in New Mexico. The purpose if for the girl to become a woman. From what I saw, the tast was not that difficult and it wasn’t a huge sign of womanhood.

  6. syr4665 October 19, 2011 at 6:09 pm #

    The Dama is a ceremony that according to its people shows the boys participating in it have just entered adulthood. The ceremony is to celebrate a good harvest, which isnt very common in their community. The Dama also used to remember the diseased, and those who participate in it dancing with masks are considered men among their tribe. I think this tradition is ridiculous adulthood has nothing to do with masks or dancing, like at all. But that is y opinion in their tribe their was a 29 year old man who was considered a young boy because he never participated in Dama, that is just absurd in my opinion.

    Apache Girl’s Rite of Passage:
    The girls of the Apache Tribe have to go through 4 tests to symbolize their growth into adulthood. The 4 tests represent the 4 stages of their lives’, infant, child, adolescence, and finally being a woman. The tests are all meaningful in their own ways and by the end of the 4 days the girls are considered women, and they are given their indian name. I think this a very sweet tradition, the fact that it still exists is cool, however I don’t think that by dancing around for many hours you are considered a woman, I think it has not type of correlation with adulthood, but that is just my opinion.

    Male Circumcision in South Africa:
    Even though this large tribe exists in the modern world, they still manage to keep their ancient traditions, including the one leading boys into adulthood which they believe starts with pain, inflicted by circumcision. The circumcision of the boys is a ceremony that is anticipated by the rest of the tribe. In my opinion enduring pain that you basically inflict on yourself doesn’t make you a man, I think it is just cruel and unusual to have to endure pain to be viewed as an adult.

    Fulani Initiation Rites:
    In this tribe it is a ritual for a young boy to battle another young boy from a different tribe. They whip each other countless amounts of times without expressing any type of emotion. After enduring this gruesome experienced they are men. In my opinion enduring stings from a whip has nothing to do with becoming a man. The fact that they have to show no emotion that is just sad and cruel, I personally disagree with this tradition, I think it is just mean.

    Yamil Reyes .

  7. sbuitoni October 19, 2011 at 6:10 pm #

    1) The “Knife Dancing” is a ritual practiced in South Korea. The ritual is used to be released from evil and possessed spirits. I believe that the ritual isn’t a sign of manhood because dancing on knives shouldn’t signify a way of becoming an adult or a higher figure.

    2) The “Initiation with Ants” is practiced in the Amazon. The ritual is used by men putting gloves on that contain venomous ants, wearing the gloves at least 20 times, each time for 10 minutes. The purpose of wearing the gloves is to show the tribe that you are brave and seen as an adult. I believe in this ritual because each culture is different and if they really think that wearing the gloves for a period of time is considered adult-like, then so be it. Each culture is different in its own ways.

    3) The Fulani Initiation Rites are rituals practiced in Western Africa. They practice the ritual as a rightful passage to manhood/womanhood. The girls get a tattoo on their face to show they are ready for marriage, and the boys get whipped on their back to show their passage of becoming men. The boys and girls can’t show any signs of emotion while enduring their ceremonies. I believe in the ceremony because the culture believes that that ritual is a sign of passage to adulthood for both girls and boys in that tribe.

  8. Kassandra Diaz October 19, 2011 at 6:11 pm #

    Knife Dancing:
    It occurs in South Korea and it is used in order to get rid of bad spirits. This young girl was haunted since she was little by a bad spirit and so she decided to go to a guardian who presented her with a ritual. In this ritual, you have to dance on top of sharp knifes. I do not really understand how that gets rid of bad spirits or how it is a sign of growing up, even though it really isn’t, it just allows the spirit to stop haunting you.

    Dama occurs in Mali, it is when boys dance with mask on. Dancing with masks on shows that they are now officially a man, if they do not proceed in doing so then they will consider themselves a women. They have the choice on when during their lives they decide to do it, but until then, they will continue feeling like a women. I do not really understand how this shows that you are a grown man because it is just dancing with a mask on.

    Apache Girl’s Rite of Passage:
    In New Mexico, a young girl has to dance for more then 10 hours to show that she is a grown women. Most mothers plan when and where this ritual will happen for their daughters and until then they will feel like that are still young. I do not understand why dancing for more then 10 hours make you more of a women but I do understand how it shows that they are strong.

    Fulani Initiation Rites:
    In Benin, in order for a women to feel older she has to have her face tattoed by someone professinal and is not allowed to show any signs of weakness for example crying, for a man to turn into a grown man, he has to be whipped by another boy trying to also become a man. I understand how these things show that they have become more of an adult because it shows that they are strong and not weak and may be able to take other hard things that come to them.

    Kassandra Diaz

  9. sjv0367 October 19, 2011 at 6:13 pm #

    Describe the coming of age tradition and identify the culture it occurs within. Explain the purpose of the initiation or ritual for that given culture. Describe your reaction to this coming of age experience and whether or not you believe it is a sign of manhood. Leave your response in the comments section of this post.

    In n New Mexico, the Mescalero Apache reservation is involved in the coming-of-age ritual. This coming-of-age ritual in is over the span of four days. The Apache girls choose their medicine women who teaches them the ropes of women hood. The four days include scarce food, little sleep, and no emotions. She is bless and dusted with pollen the symbol of fertility before they run before the sun, circling the basket 4 times. Then she is to dance all night and show endurance.

    Benin boys move toward manhood by enduring the sting of a whip. So a young boy goes against a boy from a different clan. They each take turns whipping one another 3 times at a time. Who ever flinches the least wins. The winner is covered in powder and have coins placed on their foreheads.

    The Eastern Cape Province of South Africa is home to the Xhosa people. They live in the modern world, but they maintain ancient customs. In order for boys to become men they must be circumcised and sent to live alone in a hut until they heal. They aren’t allowed to drink water only milk made out of corn. This hut is very risking in catching infection and many have died in trying to become a man.

    Boys take on Amazonian bullet ant ritual and is thrown into 24 hours of mind-numbing pain. They must last 10 minute with the gloves on. They are distracted by performing dances. They are forced to repeat this 20 times all together in order to become a man.

  10. sks7033 October 19, 2011 at 6:15 pm #

    Kathy Salce
    Coming of age ritual.

    Describe the coming of age tradition and identify the culture it occurs within. Explain the purpose of the initiation or ritual for that given culture. Describe your reaction to this coming of age experience and whether or not you believe it is a sign of manhood. Leave your response in the comments section of this post.

    Initiation; wearing a glove with venomous Ants.

    In this Culture become an adult means you have to stick your hands in a glove filled with poison filled Ants that numb and paralyze your body. In oder to be considered an adult in their society, you must do this about 20 times each time for ten minutes or more. While there hands are inside the glove you must endure the pain, while dancing with other tribe members.

    Initiation; Male circumcision in South Africa.

    Boys become men by enduring the pain of circumcision, during the summer. They are isolated in huts were they must spend weeks healing. They are also painted white. Health conditions are not very good and some guys die because infection can be common among many. There is no ceremony before the circumcision, happening very quickly. If you scream you are not a man. The surgeon must bury he foreskin to prevent it from being used in witchcraft. The male is then left in the hut alone. Until he is healed he cannot eat fresh food, or drink water.

    Initiation; Knife Dancing

    In South Korea, people believe in shamanism, but must endure something called a nami ku to be accepted. In order to be cured from any bad spirits and to be accepted in the culture you must successfully achieved the ritual. The ritual begins with drum beating as well as gongs. The women puts on a costume and gets ready to summit to the gods, they enter to what is called an estatic trans. Her mind becomes posses and she speaks in the spirits voices. Costumes are changed through out every spirt possession. She licks the blades and climbs up to the knifes, she must dance in top of the blase. She addreses the spirits voice.

    Initiation; Dama

    In Mali, a Dogon male must go through a ceremony to be initiated into the culture. Dama’s can be done after a good harvest but doesn’t happens often. Dama honors died relatives. They must wear a mask and participate in the ceremony. If not the male do not feel like real men. The shame draw patterns in the sand and the pale fox appears in the night. He gets an answer from that.

  11. sjo9572 October 19, 2011 at 6:15 pm #

    Brothers versus bulls.
    In this tradition young boys who will become men mount well taken care of hostile and strong bulls. It is common for some to die during this encounter. Riding the bull shows you have a similar power to those of a god, which rides bull. The purpose is to show that you have power and can be a man. My reaction was that it’s really dangerous but interesting. A man who teaches about it has many scars. The whole experience must give the boys some rush, which I think could be amazing. It seems like a perfect sign of manhood.
    Apache Ritual Girls
    Every Fourth of July apache girls go through a trial of womanhood. Medicine women instruct them, they need to set aside emotion and go through many trials like dancing beside ceremonial fire all night long and running towards a sun and circling a basket. They then get names. This feels a bit familiar from much that I have learned but actually seeing it was interesting especially because the girls had to keep their faces like stone with no emotion. I believe this is an interesting sign of womanhood.

    Fulani Initiation.
    The boys choose a branch and have their father sharpen it. Whoever hit’s hardest and flinches least wins. The crowd declares who is bravest. Women get facial tattoos, the process takes hours and shows bravery if they do not cry, if they do they are shamed. These initiations are rigorous and show that they have grown to endure pain. This pain and strength is enough to show that they are worthy of being men and women. I think these are both good initiations although the men should do more.
    Young men are set to live in a hut over the summer; their faces are painted white over the summer. Their heads are shaved before they do this and the circumcision does not come following a ceremony. They cannot eat or drink fresh food and water; they go through a great risk of infection and gangrene. The purpose is to show you are a man. I reacted by understanding, as it seems like a good rite of passage to go through.
    Jose Ovalle

  12. skm0263 October 19, 2011 at 6:15 pm #

    Knife Dancing
    The coming of age tradition for a South Korean girl requires her to dance on 2 very sharp knifes. The reason that this girl went through that ritual was because when she was just a little girl a spirit possessed her and left her very wounded and almost paralyzed. This ritual would possess her with another spirit that would protect her. My reaction was that i was surprised because she was standing on two huge, sharp knifes, then dancing on them. I don’t believe this is a sign of manhood.

    Male Circumcision
    The coming of age tradition for this boy in South Africa requires the skin from his penis be cut off with a knife and the boy may not scream talk or even squint. If he does any of these things than he has failed his very large tribe and does not become a full man. He also has to stay in a cabin-like thing for a week after the circumcision without fresh foods or even water. The purpose for this was to have the boy become a man. I don’t think this is a sign of of manhood.

    Fulani Initiation Rites
    The coming of age tradition for a boy in benin requires 2 boys whipping each other 3 times each. When one boy whips the other, the other has to stay there and inflict the pain, the one who flinches the least wins. The purpose for this is that the one who wins becomes a man. I do not think that this is a sign of manhood because these are still very young boys and they are just whipping each other.

    Kevin Medina

  13. ssf4590 October 19, 2011 at 6:15 pm #

    Watch any (4) videos listed below from the National Geographic website. For each video, write a 1-paragraph response that answers the following questions: Describe the coming of age tradition and identify the culture it occurs within. Explain the purpose of the initiation or ritual for that given culture. Describe your reaction to this coming of age experience and whether or not you believe it is a sign of manhood. Leave your response in the comments section of this post.

    Knife Dancing
    In some parts of Korea, there are people that believe in Shamanism as their religion. Shamanism is the belief that there are spirits on this planet that intervene in our lives. Some people in Shamanism are born into being shamans from birth, while others have to complete the knife dancing ritual. Knife dancing consists of a female shaman-to-be calling upon a specific spirit and dancing on top of a knife. When done correctly, the shaman won’t bleed at all from their feet or their tongues when they lick the blade. I believe this is a sign of maturity because to shamans it takes a lot of ability to be able to call gods and spirits to your aid.

    Brothers vs. Bulls
    In Hindu, cows are seen as sacred because they are a symbol of nurturing and life. However, bulls are seen as sacred because they are a symbol of brute strength and power, and because the god Shiva rides a bull. When men challenge bulls, it gives them a sort of prestige because they behaving like the gods with the ability to tame such powerful monstrosities. I believe that this is a sign of manhood, because regardless of the bull being a ton of death with horns, these men face them fearlessly.

    Apache Girl’s Rite of Passage
    In Apache culture, women are seen as symbols of beauty and are people with strong resolves. When the rite of passage is conducted, it’s meant to be a test of endurance, strength and emotional strength. The ceremony is very physically, emotionally and spiritually strenuous, as well as very expensive. The medicine men sing songs and the girls are painted with pollen to symbolize fertility and later clay is put around their mouths to symbolize goddesses. I believe that this is a sign of maturity because it takes a lot to go through it, and symbolizes the future for Apache women.

    Male Circumcision in Africa
    In the Xhosa tribe in Africa, circumcision is seen to be a way of passage for boys in the tribe. When boys are old enough to become men, they are taken to the bush and covered with white clay. They are covered with a blanket while their family builds them a small hut type shelter as the boys wait for their surgeon to appear. When the surgeon arrives, the surgeon, without warning, removes the boys foreskin and the family leave him there without fresh food and only a liquid made from corn to sustain himself. A couple of weeks later, the family arrives again and they remove the white clay from the boy and cover him with fat (now margarine). Then he returns home and gets his face covered to show his new status in the community. I think this is a measure of adulthood because, it takes a lot to overcome their rite of passage.

  14. Dhensel October 19, 2011 at 6:15 pm #

    1. Apache girl’s rite of passage.
    In the Apache tradition, a 13-year-old girl must pass through an ancient test of strength, endurance and character over the span of 4 days in order to enter womanhood. This ritual is held every Fourth of July and it is done to prepare girls for the trials of woman-hood. During these four days, the girl should not show any form of emotion. On the fourth and final day, the girls must dance in a tipi all night long. When the ritual is completed, the girls are given Apache “woman names”. When I watched this I thought that it didn’t look too painful.

    2. Knife Dancing
    The old folk beliefs of Shamanism in South Korea, believe that a girl must pass and initiation ritual if she wants to become Shaman. A person will receive their calling in the form of a mystic illness. The ceremony begins with the girl performing a dance to summon God. She enters a trance and speaks with a spirits voice. After each possession the girl has to change outfits. The final part of the ritual is to summon the Knife riding General, the girl’s guardian spirit. The head Shaman has to lick the blade and dance on the knives. If the girl’s feet does not bleed it means she has passed the test.

  15. divnae October 19, 2011 at 6:16 pm #

    Dama occurs in a village in Mali. Dama is dancing in a mask on stilts. If a boy does not do or complete this, they feel suspended between boyhood and manhood. I think this experience was not as grueling as the others, I do not believe it showed manhood or as much strength as many other rituals from other cultures show.

  16. ssm7369 October 19, 2011 at 6:17 pm #

    The tradition of the Fulani culture is different for the boy and the girl. The boy must be whipped by a sharp stick chosen by his father and get by his opponent. If he doesn’t flinch as much as the other opponent while getting whipped, he wins. The purpose of this is to transition to manhood. For the girl, she was “tattooed” in the face by a special artist to transition into true beauty. It was shocking to see how sharp the whip had to be and the needle that was used to stab into the girls skin. I believe that if you can endure the whipping, then you are definitely a brave man. But I don’t feel that the girls should have to be “tattooed” to be considered truly beautiful.

    The boy must shave their head first in the Kosa tribe in South Africa as the start of the process of the circumcision. There are then painted white soon after and then without warning the process begins. After the circumcision, the foreskin is buried and he must stay in a hut alone without food or water. He also can’t have medical assistance unless he wants to put shame upon his name. After he is healed, he is coded with “fat,” he is then means that he is eligible for marriage and ready to start his life as a man (shown by the red clay). I see how the circumcision is difficult and you need to be brave to go through with it. I believe that this definitely shows you are a man but the situation of hygiene should be improved because it is very dangerous and can be fatal.

    The Apache reservation in New Mexico prepares females of different ages for the ritual on the fourth of July. This ritual is a dance that occurs after a couple of days without showing emotion, eating and sleeping little, and being dusted with pollen. It takes place in a teepee and starts off with circling a basket of pollen. Then, they must dance near the fire for about ten hours preparing for the final part of the ritual. Next, they are painted with white clay to symbolize the goddess. The last time that they circle the basket again, they wipe off the clay to finalize the process. Their names are changed as the teepee falls down and they’re have finally stepped into womanhood. I personally don’t see how this shows you are a woman but the things that they did were very interesting and if they believe that is key, then so be it.

    The Dama celebration is the door to manhood. This is a dance to celebrate deceased ancestors and to honor them. At any age, you may participate in the dance so you can feel yourself that you are a man. The grandfather of the boy chooses the time of the ritual. Past dancers show the younger ones how it is done. He must have his grandfather’s blessing to dance. If he is able to dance well in the celebration he is a man. I think that participating the dance would be in honor for any boy. But I really don’t see how dancing makes you feel like a man. But again, every culture is different, so if they believe that I support them.

    -Stephanie Martinez

  17. ssp8114 October 19, 2011 at 6:17 pm #

    Describe the coming of age tradition and identify the culture it occurs within. Explain the purpose of the initiation or ritual for that given culture. Describe your reaction to this coming of age experience and whether or not you believe it is a sign of manhood.

    Video 1: Dama

    Dama is a mask celebration to honor deceases elders. To wear a mask and dance at a Dama celebration is a tradition ever boy lives for to go from childhood to manhood. The purpose of the initiation is to become a full man. The coming of age experience is a rare tradition and I feel like if its to honor elders, it should be recognized and boys should want to try and achieve the goal of wearing a mask and participating in the Dama celebration by dancing.

    Video 2: Knife Dancing

    To become a Korean Shawmen, a believer must pass an initiation called Nareen Koot. This initiation is to get rid of spirits in ones body. You have to go through obstacles that have to deal with rolling blades on yah body and stepping on blades. The coming of age experience is understandable but I wouldn’t do it.

  18. sar9647 October 19, 2011 at 6:18 pm #

    Describe the coming of age tradition and identify the culture it occurs within. Explain the purpose of the initiation or ritual for that given culture. Describe your reaction to this coming of age experience and whether or not you believe it is a sign of manhood. Leave your response in the comments section of this post.

    Video 1: Male Circumcision

    The Coming of age tradition for the Xhosa people in south africa is male circumcision. The purpose of the ritual is a tradition of a boy becoming a man, and if you do not do it you are not a man in the eyes of your peers. I think that it is a brutal way to “become a man” and I don’t really think that this rite of passage shows that your a man at all. Being a man, to me, is when you have your own home that you pay for, a job, and a good education.

    Video 2: Dama

    The coming of age tradition for the Dogon male in Mali is dancing. The purpose of the initiation is to don a mask, created for the sake of the Dama, and dance in front of your people. You can only be chosen when you are selected to do so, and until then you are but a boy. Though it is a peaceful initiation, without pain, it still doesn’t seem a solid enough event to declare someone a man (to me).

    Video 3 : Ants

    The Coming of age tradition for the Amazonian tribes is to put your hands into gloves full of bullet ants. The purpose of the initiation is to endure the pain & become a man.
    THis is the only way to truly become a man. It makes no sense and it seems a bit extreme and also does not show your a man.

  19. qcorrine October 20, 2011 at 12:09 am #

    1.Knife dancing
    In south Korea, people believing in shamanism, and people who wants to be a shaman must pass a difficult exam , some people were born to be a shaman,because the difficulty of the exam, only few people can be real shaman, and some people like that girl in the film ,once she was dreamed about shaman, then she wanted to be a pure shaman, so for the ceremony, first with the beating of drum, she put on her first custom and start shaman the god, within the process, she makes a spirit voice. She also need to change her custom several times.After this process, she must standing on a sharp knife and start dancing, at first she was nerves, but after she finish her dancing, she has completely successfully. I think it is not easy to be a shaman the hardest part is the knife dancing, if people not do well, they can get hurt by the knife, and the girl has done so well.

    2.Apache Girl’s Rite of Passage
    In cultures of new Mexico, when girls reached a proper age, they must prepared to attend a ancient ceremony and should pass it in order to become a women, a 13-year-old Apache girl is willing to do so. The ceremony is taking four days, every girl have to pass the tests, they should go to the top of mountain and dancing for the whole night.This ceremony often take in the 5th of July, 4 stages represent the 4 parts of there life, from a kid to become a woman.I think they take the test to every girl because they want to test them to see whether they can become a real woman and also become a good wife.

    3.Wearing a Glove of Venomous Ants
    In order for man to become an adult in Amazonian village, they must attend a special test to show there strength and patience. The local people grab many stinging giant ants and put them into a pair of “gloves”. And men must put there hands into the gloves and keep for 5 minutes, in order to decrease there pain, they should start dancing during this 5 minutes. This is very hurt for these men, but they should not shout to pretend they are not afraid. When they take off the gloves, there hands become red and black, and this may keep for 24 hours, so they have to bear for these time.I think this is a very difficult way because people have to bear the pain and its hard and some of people may lost there mind under the pain, so man have to control there mind well.

    4.Fulani Initiation Rites
    In this culture, Benin boys must go through the process and move toward manhood by enduring the sting of a whip. A boy must there in one place and other boy whip him for 3 times, and the boy should not move and should not should in order to show his brave, otherwise he will be failed. For girls to enter the womanhood, an artist will use a special stick to do the painting on her face to show her beauty, but it will be a little hurt and the girl must bear for like 3 hours, is she cries or show her pain, then she will be shamed. But after 3 hours,when the artist is painting, on the girl’s face, her blood mix with the ink ,after the artist is finished , then she is pass and become a woman, then decide to choose her marriage. I think these ways to enter to become a man or woman is very strict and strange, but for the local people, this is the way to let children show there brave and can become good husband or wife in the future.

  20. sys4871 October 20, 2011 at 1:02 am #

    Write a 1-paragraph response that answers the following questions: Describe the coming of age tradition and identify the culture it occurs within. Explain the purpose of the initiation or ritual for that given culture. Describe your reaction to this coming of age experience and whether or not you believe it is a sign of manhood. Leave your response in the comments section of this post.

    Video #1
    Fulani Initiation Rites:
    The coming of age tradition for a boy is that him and his brother would go out and look for tress branches take it to their father so that he can he could choose the strongest stick, the one that would break the other person’s skin. And for a girl, they would get a face tattoo. It would be done by a local artist. The purpose of the initiation for this given culture is want brings them into adulthood. My reaction to this was that for the boy it looked very painful getting wiped three times and trying not to react to it. I know that if that was me i would lose so bad i would just start crying. I really don’t know.

  21. Dhensel October 20, 2011 at 1:06 am #

    Dama is a mask festival that honors deceased elders. It is every boy’s dream to wear a mask and dance in the Dama.The Dama is a door to Dogon manhood. Without Dama men can feel like they are suspended between Boyhood and manhood. If you are not initiated you are not recognized as a man and you are even thought to be a bit like a woman.


    1. Apache:
    The Apache believe in that these rituals allow a girl to enter womanhood. Personally I don’t see how a girl can become a woman through those rituals but I guess they have a symbolic meaning to them that represent certain things.

    2. Knife Dancing
    I found this video quite interesting. I suppose that dancing on knives does take a lot of courage and it is something that i think I would never be able to do. I’m not really sure if it is a sign of adulthood but it shows that the person doing it is very determined and brave

    I didn’t really see how dancing in a ceremony with a mask on makes you a man, but it’s the Dogon’s beliefs and culture, so I guess to them it’s very special.

  22. sjs5280 October 20, 2011 at 12:24 pm #

    Knife Dancing:
    It’s a tradition is about how to become a full Shaman in South Korea. What the person has to do depending on their god, they have to dance with a blade under each foot. If the person is able to dance without begin cut by the knife, then the person has passed, but they still must undergo training to better their skills. I believe that this may have something to do with being a stronger Shaman because you are wiser as well as safer, which keeps you from getting cut.

    Male Circumcision:
    This tradition is about becoming a man in South Africa. The Xhosa people believe that it is a mans right of passage and they must bury the foreskin so that witches wont come and cure them. I was actually kind of shocked that they believe that cutting an important part of the body can make someone a man. I don’t believe that this is a sign of manhood because cutting off parts of yourself doesn’t make you less manly.

    Wearing a Glove of Venomous Ants:
    The tradition is a boy must wear gloves filled with venomous ants in order to become a man. Located in the Amazons while wearing the gloves, people try to help by dancing and singing while the boy must not show his feelings of pain. I actually winced in pain when I saw this. I felt bad that the boy had to keep the golves on for a full five minutes. I don’t believe in this right to manhood, there is more pain in becoming a man like emotional, which they don’t test for.

    Fulani Initiation Rites:
    The Fulani tribe located in Nigeria has a tradition which allows boys to gain the right of manhood. The tradition is for two boys to stand against each other and whip each others backs to see who can stand the most pain. They both find sticks that will hurt their oponent the most and their fathers are allowed to choose and sharpen one of the sticks. I could almost feels the pain as I watched this video. I also felt kind of as if there was a disadvantage because if someone is stronger then they will inflict the most pain on the other person. I don’t think that this is a sign of manhood because even though they are in a lot of pain, they aren’t allowed to show emotion, and even if they do they are punnished.

    – Jovanna Shaw

  23. sdb8321 October 20, 2011 at 10:24 pm #

    Initiation with Ants
    This tradition is practiced in an remote Amazonian village, in order to be considered a true adult on the eyes of the tribe each male must wear gloves on their hands covered with stinging giant ants almost 10 times as bad as being stung by a bee. The purpose of this ritual is for the male to prove that he is brave enough to handle the duties of a man. After watching this I was confused as to why someone would subject themselves to so much pain when there aren’t much consequences for not going through with the ritual.

    Fulani Initiation Rites
    The purpose of the initiation is to prove bravery for both girls and boys. Basically it is a competition for men I which the find a branch and sharpen then beat their opponent three times the person who flinches the most and have the weakest blows on the person who they have to beat loses the battle and is shamed. For girls an artist engraves designs into their faces if the girl cries she is also shamed.

    Deniece Brown

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