Coming of age in the igbo

female coming of age rituals around the world

Igbo Culture Igbo Language Village Before European colonisation, the Igbo-speaking people were not united as single people, but lived in small-dispersed compounds in the rainforest, built up of clusters of huts belonging to the same patrilineage. Not only do gender roles prevail throughout African society, but they also prevail throughout African art.

Gender roles prevail outside of the work sphere as well as the Mende people practice polygamy. It has a triangular body formed by three pieces of soft wood sewn together. Among his cabinet members, the Igwe appoints his Prime Minister and secretary and together with his full cabinet, the Igwe-in-council serves the community in matters of peace, development and values.

Igwe is the sky god, the source of rain.

Roman coming of age

The money, palm wine and kola nuts are returned to the winner, the latter two being given in most cases to the Igwe as a token of gratitude. The process falls into four stages: asking the young woman's consent, negotiating through a middleman, testing the bride's character, and paying the bride wealth, a kind of dowry. 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 take. In the olden days, the newly formed group had to prove themselves for maturity by defending the community against hostile neighbours or enemies. Women also wear a head tie, a rectangular piece of cloth that can be worn a number of different ways. Anyanwu is the sun god who makes crops and trees grow. Studies in Igbo Traditional Religion. There have been a number of studies on puberty rites, their meaning and function. The name may be based on anything from the child's birthmarks to the opinion of the diviner, or seer. In addition to these essential functions, the celebration of these rites, as we can observe, brings people together to share, pray, sing, dance, eat, drink and rejoice together as members of one large human and spiritual family. Depending on the ethnic group, these trials may involve physical marking such as circumcision or other body scarification without the use of anesthesia. In addition, each town has its own local festivals.

Meanwhile, eligible bachelors would watch from the periphery. Related Papers. One could be allowed to wear a red or black cap, to hold a walking stick, an elephant tusk, a horsetail or a fan of ram or cow skin, all dependent on the local customs and the rank of title.

Coming of age ceremony

As a result, in many places the rituals have simply been driven underground or have been tacitly allowed to continue due to difficulties in enforcing the ban. Mothers would layout the facts of life and what it meant to be beautiful. Both coming-of-age rituals and circumcision are still widely practiced today but have frequently become separated from one another, even in places where they traditionally went hand in hand. Among the Igbo who live near waterways it is often prepared with shrimp. The name Nwanyimeole —"What can a woman do? For many African ethnic groups, such as the Kono of Sierra Leone and the Dogon and Bamana of Mali, genital cutting reflects traditional beliefs about gender and duality. Leiden: E. With the coming of Christianity and Western culture, many of these rites are either lost, given up, forgotten or being increasingly neglected while some are being reinterpreted, partially preserved, and absorbed in or interpolated with Christianity. Traditionally in Igbo land, on the night 12 before this public event, the young girls the celebrants would gather to learn private lessons of life from older women. Others considered them a cultural means of resolving sex identity conflicts induced in early childhood. Various secondary sexual characteristics also appear for the first time during puberty; in males, production of body hair increases markedly, particularly in the pubic, axillary, and facial regions, and the voice usually changes and becomes 4 deeper in tone; in females, hair also appears in the pubic and axillary regions, and the breasts become enlarged. From the sixteenth to the nineteenth century, slavery took toll of many weaker communities in this part of the country.

Unlike in many Western societies, where the boundary between childhood and adulthood is often blurred, traditional African rites of passage mark an unambiguous transition with an associated change of status, roles and responsibilities. Communities are segmented in different age grades, and with years passing by, the younger groups ascend the ladder and take over the role of older grades.

The title system varies from community to community, but except from different names, the hierarchy itself is in most cases the same.

For everyday wear men wear a cotton wrap robea shirt, and sandals. A few years later, the colonial rule decided to introduce this system in the south as well.

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Coming Of Age: Mende And Igbo Traditions