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Rites of Passage “We are born, grow, become adult, marry and die. At the end of these points there is a breaking with the old, stable ways of life, and.

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Presentation on theme: "Rites of Passage “We are born, grow, become adult, marry and die. At the end of these points there is a breaking with the old, stable ways of life, and."— Presentation transcript:

1 Rites of Passage “We are born, grow, become adult, marry and die. At the end of these points there is a breaking with the old, stable ways of life, and then we experience an opening into a world of greater awareness for a time, whether of spiritual things or simply unfamiliar possibilities.” Edith Turner, Anthropologist, University of Virginia

2 Rite of Passage: Ceremonies or events that mark a person or group of people’s progress from one role, phase of life, or social status, to another. Categories of Rites of Passage: Group vs. individual

3 A three stage process: Rites of passage are all very different, but within each one there is a three stage process… 1. You are changed from what you were to something new 2. You remove yourself from society temporarily 3. You are re-admitted to society as a new person

4 RITES OF PASSAGE - BIRTH Western Societies- First day of school Cameroon- babies faces are painted as a method of protection Greek Orthodox- God parents take newborn from the mother. The Archbishop cuts the baby’s hair in three places to form the shape of a cross

5 In Burgos Spain a man jumps over newborns. It is thought that with the safe landing of the man, the child will pass safely through to childhood

6 Baby Smoking in Kimberly, Australia Shallow pit filled with Konkerberry tree. Fire – smoke symbolises purification. Mother gives the child to grandmother who in turn passes the child through the smoke uttering a blessing.

7 Orthodox Jewish Boys- At age 3 they get their first hair cut. All the hair is cut by parents and friends and only side locks are left (peyote). This signifies the baby changing to a boy

8 RITES OF PASSAGE- ADOLESCENCE “Adolescence- the bridge between childhood and maturity- is a perilous passage. To become fulfilled members of their society, adolescents must understand what is expected of them. With the exception of rituals surrounding high school and university graduations, Western cultures have largely abandoned the initiation rites that honour the adolescents with no rituals by which they become members of the tribe, the community. All children need to be born twice, to learn to function rationally in the present world, leaving childhood behind. Traditional cultures provide a rich panoply of initiations to facilitate this rebirth, to help adolescents achieve what psychologist Robert Moore calls ‘calm, secure maturity’. Initiation into clubs and organizations, scarifications, apprenticeship to a spiritual master- in each case, there is a conscious recognition that adolescence involves a process, a becoming, a transformation. It is a time filled with both danger and an enormous potential for growth.”

9 Alkira-Kiuma Ceremony or the Tossing Ceremony of the Aranda Tribe (1904). At age twelve, the boy's first initiation ceremony, tossed and caught by various male relatives

10 Adolescence Vanuatu Boys (Brazil) dive from 50 ft towers with elastic vines tied to their feet that are just long enough to stop them from crashing into the ground

11 Among the cattle herding Barabaig culture of East Africa, the boys' heads are shaved and their foreheads are cut with three deep horizontal incisions that go down to the bone and extend from ear to ear. Sometimes, the incisions are deep enough to show up on the skulls.

12 Female Genital Circumcision (Clitoridectomy)- The partial or total cutting away of the female genitalia. Practiced for centuries in parts of Africa, as a way of preparing females for womanhood and marriage. In some cultures, women are considered unfit for marriage if they are not circumcised

13 Sunset Ceremony (Turkey)- The circumcision of a boy at the age of 7-8 so that he can remember when he became a man. Friends and family are invited to enjoy a feast and boys were special attire

14 Debutante Ball- A young lady for an aristocratic or upper class family who has reached the age of maturity is introduced to society. Originally it meant the young woman was eligible for marriage to eligible bachelors of the upper class

15 ADULTHOOD Kau women of the Sudan are scarred in three stages 1.Pubescent: from naval to breasts 2.Sexual maturity: more scars to torso and shoulders 3.After the weaning of their first child to back and back of legs.

16 Marriage In Bali women have their upper teeth (canines and incisors) filed before marriage. Beastly passions are reduced. If the young girl dies before marriage, the teeth are filed before cremation.

17 Clan Tattoos Clan markings are another common ritual tattoo. Not only can you recognize your friends quickly, even in the frenzy of battle, but more importantly, your people are connected even beyond death.

18 Marriage Tattoos Family and marriage tattoos are used in much the same manner as clan markings. Marriage tattoos have been particularly popular, to insure that you can find your lawful spouse or spouses in the afterlife, even if you have passed through the veil, many years apart.

19 In Memoriam Modern people still tattoo to continue relationships with deceased loved ones, even if they do it on a subconcious level. You can see gravestones with spouses, parents, children, and friends names on them. All of these are modern examples of tattooing to connect the living to the dead.

20 Maori Social Status Some primitive tribes use tattooing as a rite of social status. The Maori, of New Zealand use tattooing primarily for this purpose. To the Maori, a person's Moko designs enhanced their prestige and show transition from one social status to another. At its highest level, Moko designs proclaimed the sacredness of chieftanship.

21 Facial Tattoos An offshoot of tattooing for health is tattooing to preserve youth. Maori girls tattooed their lips and chin, for this reason.

22 Rites of Passage- Death When death separates us from a loved one, we experience a gamut of emotions: denial, anger, grief and finally acceptance. To help us make this transition- and to squarely face out one mortality- societies throughout the world have created an enormously diverse set of rituals. These rites honour the deceased and consecrate their passage to the next world. They also serve survivors in important ways. The living mourners and the deceased constitute a special group, situated between the world of the living and the world of the dead. In this liminal state, we come to comprehend our own inevitable demise and, more importantly, the value of our lives. The dilemma of death had been an astonishing wellspring of speculation, inspiration and creativity through the ages- one of the central issues addressed by virtually every religion and belief system. Unlike most Eastern and non-industrial societies, modern Western culture seems to resist and insulate the reality of death. “It is denial of death that is partially responsible for people living empty, purposeless lives” write psychologist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. “It is not the end of the physical body that should worry us. Rather our concern must be to live while we are alive… Death is the key to the door of life. It is through accepting the finiteness of our individual existences that we are enabled… to devote each day of our lives- however long they may be- to growing as fully as we are able.

23 Kuku-kuku- (Papua New Guinea) Smoke dead relatives over a fire to dry. The ceremony begins with 4 days of mourning, wailing and throwing themselves on the corpse. Relatives eat dirt, tear out their hair, bash themselves on the forehead with a rock until bleeding begins. The pyre is lit on the fifth day, self mutilation subsides. The dried body is put in a place of honour in the home.

24 El dia del los muertos (Latin America) The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. The celebration occurs on the 1st and 2nd of November Traditions include building private altars honoring the deceased, using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts.

25 Man with gashed thighs during the Kulungara ceremony, a mourning ceremony Women embracing and wailing after cutting their heds during a mourning ceremony in the Warramunga tribe Mourning


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