Coming of Age Rituals

21 May

Watch the following 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.

Dama Rite of Passage
In Mali, a young Dogon male may believe that without a unique ceremony, he will remain suspended between boyhood and manhood.

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

Apache 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.

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