Enter your email to receive news and updates on the latest African narratives, Start typing to see results or hit ESC to close, Harambee: How this long-standing tradition has made Kenya the most generous country in Africa, Five unique traditions only Moroccans will understand, Africa And The Culture Of Body Modification, Here are five ways to stay out of jail when in Morocco. In 1900, the average age was 15. Home › Events › Culture › The Transkei Coming of Age Ceremony. This ceremony is the transition into a new age set. Today’s ceremony was held on a beautiful hill top with a 360 degree view of the area. And Nice? We made it easy for you to exercise your right to vote! Coming Of Age Sayings and Quotes. October 3, 2018. Nice brings girls together to talk about their bodies and their rights. The Walkabout Ceremony . Keep up this age old African tradition. The coming of age ceremony has this season has seen 10 young initiates lose their lives, ... South Africa– Blue Sky Publications (Pty) Ltd T/A TheSouthAfrican Number: 2005/028472/07. The ‘coming of age’ ceremony is a significant rite among many cultures. These teens from the Xhosa tribe wear traditional garb and paint after their coming-of-age circumcision ceremony near Qunu, South Africa. This ritual has two main steps for the young boys to be able to achieve it The first step is to get circumcised by the tribe elders which will represent how you are now considered a man. Nearly all African cultures hold that the infant has come from the spirit world with important information from that … To find out more about AMREF's work with women, click here. Circumcision & Coming of Age Ritual "Going to the Bush is a Xhosa ritual where boys in South Africa are initiated into manhood. Come see the Zuzu tribe. Elders and men who have performed the ritual before, but are not yet married, gather castrated male cattle for the traditional coming-of-age ceremony. By . Both genders dress in traditional-style kimonos and attend ceremonies at local city or prefecture offices, where they listen to official speeches and receive gifts. Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. One of such traditions is … Nice has even been honored for her work with an 'oringo orok' -- a Maasai leader's talking and walking stick -- and a cultural symbol for leadership. A deeper look into the different cultures of the African continent, its food, people, music, art, language and more. The ceremony indicates that the young girl has transitioned from a child and into an adult woman who can now get married. Meet Dr. Esther Mahlangu one of South Africa’s most famous artists. Source: Haunted Garden Book. They are traditionally feted each January on "coming-of-age day" with a formal ceremony, originally a rite of ancient samurai families -- now often followed by raucous drinking sprees. Ji Li is the Confucian coming of age ceremony for Han women that has seen a resurgence in recent years. This blog is part of our #GivingTuesday series, produced by The Huffington Post and the teams at InterAction, 92nd Street Y,United Nations Foundation, and others. A ‘coming of age’ ceremony is held only for an eldest – or youngest – daughter when she is between 18 and 21, although a deserving woman who had respected her parents can have an event any time her brother can afford it. Turning 20 is a significant step in Japanese culture, and both men and women commemorate this landmark with Seijin no Hi or ‘Coming of Age Day’ on the second Monday of January. And it can be expensive. But the Bora is not the only coming of age ceremony still practiced by Aboriginal Australians, and the second is the polar opposite of the adrenaline fueled group ceremony. However, due to expense, it is often delayed until later. The girls sing traditional songs that everyone has practiced. During the winter break from school a group of initiates go into the bush accompanied by an older man. But the prize for most extreme coming-of-age ceremony likely goes to the Sateré-Mawé people, who live deep in the Amazon. As parents, it … The dialogue began with the tribal elders who were convinced of the advantages of eliminating female circumcision. Iria ritual (Niger Delta states) Various tribes in Niger Delta states practice the iria ritual. Coming of Age Day (成人の日, Seijin no Hi) is a Japanese holiday held annually on the second Monday of January. By working in the African tradition with much patience, empathy and involvement of the decision-makers, AMREF has slowly brought about great change. The bulls are smeared with dung to make them slippery. Circumcision ceremony is the most vital initiation of all rite of passages in the Maasai society. Today is National Voter Registration Day! Around 15,000 men from all over Kenya and neighboring Tanzania congregated in Maparasha Hills in Kajiado County, 128 kilometers from Nairobi, to feast on an estimated 3,000 bulls and 30,000 goats and sheep. It is a unique moment of prayer, thanksgiving and joy to all the family members and the community at large. If you have the opportunity to South African. They are blessed by their tribal elders with milk and water. And so began a coming-of-age ceremony unlike any you may have encountered. Unfortunately, that means that the most popular start-of-the-year event for 20-year-olds in the city, the Coming of Age Ceremonies, are changing form, being postponed, or being cancelled altogether. Rather than merely striving to enter adulthood, young Mandan boys were hoping to be recognized as warriors through the ritual. Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old coming of age quotes, coming of age sayings, and coming of age proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources. Once there they must build a hut and kill a lamb. Today’s ceremony was held on a beautiful hill top with a 360 degree view of the area. In Bali, the coming of age ceremony is supposed to take place after a girl's first menstrual period or a boy's voice breaks. 0. To reduce the price, some families now do joint ceremonies with other girls coming of age, or they perform a shortened version of the original ceremony. The transition from girl to woman in nomadic groups in East Africa takes place in an age-old, four-day ritual in which the girls are dressed in their finest clothes and adorned with their most beautiful jewelry. In some parts of China, there has recently been a resurgence of the Confucian-style coming of age ceremonies Ji Li (for girls) and Guan Li (for boys). Together with the Maasai and with respect for all parties, AMREF has succeeded in finding a way to make tradition and progress join hands. In our society, coming of age is often defined religiously as a Quinceñera, a Confirmation, and a Bar or Bat Mitzvah. The ceremony indicates that the young girl has transitioned from a child and into an adult woman who can now get married. Get to know Africa by Country. These teens from the Xhosa tribe wear traditional garb and paint after their coming-of-age circumcision ceremony near Qunu, South Africa. 12 Captivating Coming of Age Ceremonies From Around the World See how young women in Indonesia, Ghana, the Philippines, and more countries get inducted into adulthood. It is usually done to young girls between 14 and 16 to prepare them for marriage. Connecting you to Africa through telling stories of her culture, history and heritage. The Transkei Coming of Age Ceremony. The alternative ceremony not only eliminates circumcision, but supports further schooling and delayed marriage. — Kim (@Kim99733740) July 15, 2018. This West African coming of age ritual turns the journey into adulthood into a violent head-to-head competition. — Kim (@Kim99733740) July 15, 2018. Ulwaluko, traditional circumcision and initiation into manhood, is an ancient initiation rite practised (though not exclusively) by the amaXhosa, and is commonly practised throughout South Africa.The ritual is traditionally intended as a teaching institution, to prepare young males for the responsibilities of manhood. However, it continues in many nomadic societies and is typically performed by a traditional healer or 'cutter' without anesthesia, in an unhygienic environment and without medical knowledge. According to Nice, "we form a well-organized community that solves problems on its own as much as possible, in a way that everyone can agree with.". There are so many strange traditions, you will be amazed to see the people here. Following Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday -- which takes place for the first time on Tuesday, November 27 -- is a movement intended to open the holiday season on a philanthropic note. For some cultures it is considered a dangerous time. Modern-day rituals are common, and many of these extend far back in history. 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 … In our society, coming of age is often defined religiously as a Quinceñera, a Confirmation, and a Bar or Bat Mitzvah. Executive Director, African Medical and Research Foundation, Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost's next chapter. This tradition is very old and all the boys must go through the ceremony before he can be accepted as a full-fledged man. She trained as a peer educator with AMREF. ... Maasai coming of age ceremony. A ‘coming of age’ ceremony is held only for an eldest – or youngest – daughter when she is between 18 and 21, although a deserving woman who had respected her parents can have an event any time her brother can afford it. South Africa's Coming-of-Age Ceremonies Continue to Claim More Lives This winter's initiation season has already claimed the lives of 18 young men. One of such traditions is the Khweta circumcision that initiates boys into manhood. Explore all African Countries. They built their own hut/home and lived on their own. Non-religiously, there are secular transitions such as graduations, but they are not as celebratory as the traditions of the African people. Cost, however, hasn’t been the biggest curb to the practice: United States legislation had effectively banned Native American spiritual practices and rituals for decades before the passage of the American Indian Religious Freedom Act. The average age of first menstruation, however, is 12.1 years of age. Since 1994, 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. Women have virtually no voice in Maasai society. Having long been present helping the Maasai drill water wells and delivering health services, AMREF has earned their trust and respect -- two essential conditions that underpin our current work in changing traditional attitudes towards female genital cutting. African History according to its culture, chieftaincy, politics, democracy and so forth. The girls participate in a three-day long session about sex education, self-confidence and human rights, a critical part of the ritual as it promotes the girls' feelings of self-worth in view of their lower status compared to boys. For the past several years, AMREF has helped girls and women play a larger role in the community, specifically in eliminating female circumcision. It is indeed a beautiful ritual. Share: The Transkei tribe is a really old tribe of Southern Africa that has many traditions. They are subject to the intricate hierarchy of the powerful men in the clan known as Morans. Maintaining these traditional costumes has been very hard for the maasai with all of the modern day influences and issues such as technology, global warming and all of these things that affect them and … She ended up living with her older sister (who is cut) and her brother. As sunset approaches, the young boy gets ready for one of the most important days of his life. 17 Coming of Age Ceremonies from Other Cultures. After enkipaata ceremony, boys are ready for the most important initiation known as Emuratare (circumcision). The Walkabout coming of age ceremony is a rite of passage for young men between the ages of 10 and 16 (though most commonly 12-13) years old. Circumcision & Coming of Age Ritual "Going to the Bush is a Xhosa ritual where boys in South Africa are initiated into manhood. They are too old to be considered children, but they have not yet found their place in the adult world. A dangerous, life-threatening and extremely painful ritual, cutting is against the law in most African countries. 'Uncircumcised' girls are often rejected by their circumcised peers and refused marriage by men who are taught to marry only girls who have been cut. One of the most prominent cultural traditions celebrated and upheld by the Tikuna is that of the Pelazón ceremony, a coming of age ritual for young girls, marking the time they enter womanhood. Each year the ceremony is marked with beautiful outfits, music and wonderful traditional cuisine. So it was particularly significant and singularly courageous, for Nice, a young Maasai girl who was orphaned at age nine, to run away from home when her uncle and grandfather wanted her to be cut. Non-religiously, there are secular transitions such as graduations, but they are not as celebratory as the traditions of the African people. The coming of age ritual for the maasai people is one of the most important steps in a maasai warrior life. The maasai carrie many rituals and celebration from their culture such as their coming of age ritual where young boys become men as they must transition and complete the ceremony. August 2018, Kimanjo, North of Mpala On a normal day, the Explore community might witness hyenas unsettling an elephant herd on the live cameras at Mpala, the home of African wildlife. — TT (@Topsy1966) July 14, 2018. Japan holds a coming-of-age ceremony every year on the second Monday in January for young people who have reached the age of 20 to celebrate their adulthood from that day. Looking at Africa through its Art, and those who create it. Go to www.givingtuesday.org to learn more and get involved. To date, this modified ritual has taken place three times in Loitokitok and Magadi, Kenya with over 800 girls, 135 parents, 86 tribal elders and 16 female circumcisers. Posted on November 7, ... We publish inspiring and thought-provoking stories and photo galleries about African wildlife and safaris for our sophisticated international community. Take our weekly Africa Quiz and test your knowledge on Africa and its culture, countries, tribes, history and so much more. Mercifully, the ancient coming of age ritual practiced by the Mandan Okipa native tribe no longer exists in its traditional form, probably because it could more accurately be identified as a form of barbaric torture. Thousands of Maasai men clad in red and purple shawls and with their heads coated in red ocher gathered for a ceremony that transforms them from Moran (warriors) to Mzee (elders). The most momentous occasion is when children transition from child to adult. READ: More South African Young Men Continue to Die in Coming-of-Age Initiation Ceremonies. The transition from girl to woman in nomadic groups in East Africa takes place in an age-old, four-day ritual in which the girls are dressed in their finest clothes and adorned with their most beautiful jewelry. Part of HuffPost Impact. Some call it a Black bar mitzvah, some a bro mitzvah, while many stick to the more generic “rite of passage.” But the prize for most extreme coming-of-age ceremony likely goes to the Sateré-Mawé people, who live deep in the Amazon. The Western world has little by way of male initiation rituals, but coming-of-age-type ceremonies do pop up here and there. The Emuratare ceremony is a life-changing milestone for Maasai boys and girls who celebrate their transition into adulthood. South African fitness influencer Sbahle Mpisane recently had her traditional coming-of-age ceremony, called an Umemulo, and the pictures tell the story. They are blessed by their tribal elders with milk and water. The girls sing traditional songs that everyone has practiced. During the winter break from school a group of initiates go into the bush accompanied by an older man. Because 18 is the age of which filipino women celebrate coming of age – said to be because women mature sooner – traditions such as 18 members of the entourage and 18 roses and candles, stand to represent this milestone. Although the age at which these rituals take place varies conside… Cite this page Michelle Johnson, “Childhood: Coming of Age Rituals: Sub-Saharan Africa”, in: Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures , General Editor Suad Joseph. CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images During the first 7 days the initiates are confined to a hut and the use of certain foods, for example meat, is restricted, but this may differ as certain homes have their own beliefs or ways of doing things. The mothers give them life lessons in the privacy of their huts. Following Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday -- which takes place for the first time on Tuesday, November 27 -- is a movement intended to open the holiday season on a philanthropic note. 20-year-olds attend a Coming of Age Day ceremony in Nagoya, Japan, January 11, 2021. Mpisane — or Fitness Bunnie, as she is known in social media — had her traditional Zulu coming-of-age ceremony, called an Umemulo, and the pictures of the festivities are captivating.Historically, the ceremony was for Zulu women who reached the age of 21 as virgins, but as times have changed, the ceremony now celebrates young unmarried women as they come of age — … It is held in order to congratulate and encourage all those who have reached or will reach the age of maturity (20 years old) between April 2 of the previous year and April 1 of the current year, and to help them realize that they have become adults. After enkipaata ceremony, boys are ready for the most important initiation known as Emuratare (circumcision). A number of celebrations associated with the coming of age of young women nevertheless survive to this day, while the Reed Ceremony, associated with puberty rites among the Swazi, was adopted by their Zulu-speaking neighbours as late as the mid-1980s. In Zambia, the Lunda people refer to the rite of passage as “ mukanda.” It is considered the most powerful, awe-inspiring experience that every man … Under Jewish Law, individuals are only required to formally observe the commandments once they reach a specific age (12 for girls, 13 for boys). With the elders' approval, the young men were approached, learning that it was alright to marry an uncircumcised girl and -- not unimportantly -- that sex is better with an uncircumcised wife! One of the most numerous tribes in the rainforest, the Tikuna are an extraordinarily artistic people, known for their rich culture and age-old traditions. And it can be expensive. Maasai Warriors Coming of Age Ceremony. Though it is now a rarity, traditionally all Apache girls were required to complete the sunrise ceremony, also known as Na’ii’ees or the puberty ceremony, during the summer following their first menstruation. Nice eventually encountered AMREF working in one of the Maasai communities. The Ojibwe, one of the largest indigenous groups in North America, with communities from Quebec to Montana, are revitalizing the “berry fast,” a coming-of-age ritual for girls. Eighteen shots are then taken as a toast to each commemorative speech given to the debutante. Fula boys participating in the tradition must engage in a cross-tribe whipping battle while armed with sticks bearing sharp points and covered in thorns for maximum pain potential. The rite concludes with the girls walking through a ceremonial arch formed by tribal elders as the surrounding community welcomes them as women. series, produced by The Huffington Post and the teams at, , and others. In most African communities, wedding ceremonies involve feasting, animal sacrifice, dancing, and blessings. African Ceremonies Inc, a 501c3 charitable foundation, is dedicated to the preservation of African tribal traditions through the photographic documentation of ceremonies and customs, thereby ensuring that the strength and essence of African culture is preserved for the history of mankind and for the education of future generations. A rare centuries-old initiation ceremony within an African community has been captured in a series of stunning images documenting the young boy's journey as they come of age. The bar mitzvah and bat mitzvah are coming of age ceremonies for Jewish boys and girls, respectively. https://africageographic.com/stories/video-maasai-coming-age-ceremony News Japan's youth mark Coming of Age Day amid coronavirus surge The day is a rite of passage for young people who have turned or are about to turn 20 years old. Umemulo, also known as the “coming of age, is an important Zulu ritual that celebrates a young girl’s journey into womanhood. Because 18 is the age of which filipino women celebrate coming of age – said to be because women mature sooner – traditions such as 18 members of the entourage and 18 roses and candles, stand to represent this milestone. It took her two years to break down the barriers, but eventually, through persistence, she was accepted and they now listen to her. As she is now a woman, she is also expected to leave school, leading to fewer opportunities for girls and creating major barriers to gender equity. Eighteen shots are then taken as a toast to each commemorative speech given to the debutante. The upper canines are filed down slightly to symbolize the effacing of the individual's "wild" nature. The ceremonies typically honor youth who have turned 20, and provide a fun opportunity to wear traditional dress. The Maasai themselves designed the alternative rite of passage to traditional circumcision. Countries, religions and ethnic groups, all have ways of celebrating the newly crowned adulthood of their teenagers. Examples of these ceremonies, which can include a religious coming-of-age, are a quinceanera, bar or bat mitzvah, First Holy Communion, Rumspringa, bullet ant initiation, sunrise ceremony, or a sweet sixteen. Among African American girls, 15% were developing by seven and almost half by eight. She realized early, though, that to make real progress she had to speak with the Morans as well. The age at which a person is initiated in a coming of age ceremony varies – Jewish Bar and Bat Mitzvahs take place when the you… All rights reserved. Young women also have coming-of-age ceremonies 'umemulo'. Hadithi Africa is a contemporary educative platform that promotes and showcases the African narrative. It is an important milestone and it marks a difficult time for many young people. By Kristina Rodulfo We embrace the local traditions of our homes and the coming of age ceremony for boys is certainly a hallmark. 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. The Transkei tribe is a really old tribe of Southern Africa that has many traditions. Cutting away the clitoris and labia in girls as young as seven to 15 years of age represents the centerpiece of this most important rite of passage in the life of a Maasai girl -- at least until a few years ago. Coming of Age Ceremonies celebrate the young adults who are turning 20, which is the age of adulthood in Japan, and typically occur on the second Monday in January. They celebrated the rite of passage from girl to woman without bloodshed. The cutter uses the same knife for several girls and often stitches the labia over the vagina, leaving only the smallest of openings, causing untold complications in adulthood and childbirth, often resulting in obstructed labor and potential death of both mother and child. In addition, girls are encouraged to continue with school and the elders, mothers and fathers, to invest in the girls. This ceremony is the transition into a new age set. Hope they are all well and healthy? Circumcision ceremony is the most vital initiation of all rite of passages in the Maasai society. ©2021 Verizon Media. 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. She is now ready for marriage -- no matter how young she is. 400. South African fitness influencer Sbahle Mpisane recently had her traditional coming-of-age ceremony, called an Umemulo, and the pictures tell the story. Female genital cutting causes not only physical health problems, but as soon as a girl is 'cut,' she is considered a 'woman' and typically no longer listens to her mother. Hope they are all well and healthy? Pigments: A series Exploring the Art of Body-Painting in Africa. Keep up this age old African tradition. — TT (@Topsy1966) July 14, 2018. So we see that girls are, indeed, growing up faster than ever before. For most girls, the coming of age passage represents the only real, significant moment in her life where she takes center stage and is recognized by her family, relatives, peers and fellow clan members. Go to, AMREF has helped girls and women play a larger role in the community. Traditionally, umemulo was performed around the age of puberty and awarded to young girls who had respected their bodies but with evolving times and western influence on African culture, the ceremony is now done when girls reach the age of 21. Meet the naked tribes of Nigeria — where people wear leaves and little to nothing. The Apache Coming Of Age Tradition: The Sunrise Ceremony. A rare centuries-old initiation ceremony within an African community has been captured in a series of stunning images documenting the young boy's journey as they come of age.
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