The tribal culture around the world is just unpredictable. Some of the tribal religious beliefs and practices are so designed that people would not even understand why and how they came into existence. They are often considered bizarre as they are not something that would be allowed in developed areas where we live. However, it might be interesting enough to know about one of the unexplored bits of our planet. Therefore, in this article, we are going to talk about the tribal culture and rituals undertaken for manhood. This information has been curated keeping in mind the observance of International Men’s Day!
International Men’s Day
International Men’s Day is celebrated every year on November 19 to observe the efforts that men make towards everyone in their life and to appreciate them. Each year the theme of this observance is based on what men should focus on at that point in time. The International Men’s Day 2022 theme had been announced way earlier than the observance took place. This year the theme was ‘MakeTime4Mates’. The highlights that the International Men’s Day website mentions for this theme are:
- Making time for old mates
- Making time to make new mates
- Reaching out to mates who are doing it tough
Tribal Culture And Manhood Rituals
Knowing about the kind of tribal rituals conducted for manhood that we are going to mention might seem a little overwhelming at first. But we are sure that with patience and a calm mind you will be able to grasp it in efficiently. The tribal culture and its rituals are varied therefore, read the description provided properly to understand the situation better. Also, please note that we have noted some of the most horrifying tribal African rituals so that you know what all men in these tribes go through.
1. Land Diving
You might have heard about ‘bungee jumping’ right? That is risky but indeed safer than land diving we are going to mention. Though the concept is almost the same, the level of risk varies. This act of land diving is performed on the small Pentecost Island which is situated in the South Pacific. This is a part of their tribal culture and this ritual is performed in the months of April or May. Men perform this ritual as a sacrifice to the almighty so that they have a good yam harvest.
For this ritual, men or young boys jump from about 45 to 100 feet branch towers with just two plant vines tied to their ankles for protection. The ultimate goal of this tribal culture practice is that they need to touch the ground with their shoulders. Men who are participating need to be very cautious about this as they need to calculate the length of the spine as any error in that would lead to a broken neck, shoulder, or even skull. This is, thus, one of the most terrifying tribal rituals out there.
2. Bullet Ant Gloves
Bullet ant stings are very painful. Even if one of them bites you would be crying in pain. But the tribal culture that we are talking about here does not consider this amount of pain and tests the men’s tolerance level to the max. People have even compared the pain experience to that of a bullet shot. It is indeed too difficult to ‘be a man’ and therefore, the young boys of the Satere-Mawe in Brazil are made to wear gloves that are made from leaves and host hundreds of these deadly ants.
The pain is so extreme that many might even die in the process. However, the ones who survive are treated with respect as they are then considered to be manly. This tribal culture may vary in some places there in the sense that the number of ants and the time limit for tolerance might be decided by them at that very moment.
3. Crocodile Scars
A small cut or scar on your body might bother you too much, isn’t it? But some tribal culture and their practices are so terrifying that you would end up praising that one scar. Men who are from the tribes of the Sepik River of Papua New Guinea are first locked in a hut called the Spirit House for six weeks. This is one of the most eccentric manhood rituals that you would have thought of. At the end of it, men literally have scars that are similar to crocodile scales.
A razor is taken, and cuts are made on their body everywhere and blood oozes out rapidly as this happens. They are not even allowed to scream in pain. The entire process takes about a day as the body is left drenched in blood. It has even caused hypovolemic shock and even death sometimes. The objective of this tribal culture considering manhood is that men should be strong enough to endure this pain so that they can fight all obstacles that come in life thereafter.
4. Whipping Match
Hitting someone with a whip might sound inhumane. But one of the tribal religious beliefs and practices considers hitting men with whips in nomadic Fulani tribes. So, this tribal culture practice is a competition between two young boys who are inching closer to manhood in northern Benin of West Africa.
Here, they need to fight with one another while hitting each other with a whip. In the end, the one who has lost the most amount of blood and has more injuries and also did not respond to the pain by crying wins the competition. This shows how strong that man is, making this one of the most painful tribal African rituals.
5. Bull Jumping
This tribal ritual for manhood in our list might be the most tolerable one for you to read. In this case, the men from the Ethiopian Hamar tribe have to face four bulls. These bulls are specially selected for this tribal culture ritual. Young boys in the tribe need to jump onto one bull’s back and then continue jumping onto others’ backs as well. Thereafter, if they land safely on the ground, they have indeed ‘become a man.’ Though it might be one of the easiest manhood rituals on this list, even this involves a lot of risk as facing bulls is not that simple.
6. Memory Loss Using Drugs
This is the tribal culture practice for manhood for the Quebec’s Algonquin Indians as they take their young boys to a forest and feed them a plant mixture that is known as wysoccan. The name of this plant mixture is derived from the Jimson Weed. This plant, wysoccan, is extremely toxic and hallucinogenic, which is even capable of erasing the entire memory of a man. This is done to erase the memories that the boy has attained in his boyhood. However, it can even be fatal in some cases. But the ones who survive these extreme conditions are then called a ‘man’.
7. Savouring The Man’s Milk
This is one of the most unbelievable tribal African rituals that you might be reading on this list at least. The Sambia tribe in the Papua New Guinea surpasses everyone else on the list. In the first stage of this tribal ritual for manhood, ceremonial bloodletting is done. Here, the young boy is literally pinned to a tree and branches are stuck up into his nostrils until it starts bleeding. The older men then beat them with sticks so that they can lead their life as a warrior thereafter. Therefore one of the gruesome tribal rituals it is!
This ritual is a step ahead of everyone else as boys have to savour the ‘man’s milk’ in order to be a man themselves. Till the time these boys attain puberty, they have to perform fellatio on the older tribesmen so that they acquire the power of the ‘man’s milk’. After they turn 20 they are eligible to marry but they still have to spend most of their time among older men. It is hence one of the most intolerable tribal African rituals.
A Manly Wrap-up!
Tribal culture involving men has exceeded several limits and therefore some of them are horrific to even think of. This is why on this International men’s day, we thought of bringing this information to your knowledge so that you can know of the sacrifices that young boys in tribes around the world make. However, we do respect the tribal religious beliefs and practices, therefore, we would not say anything bad about them. This is due to the fact we do not know why these rituals originated and the actual significance of them. Also, we think that people should respect their sacrifices on International Men’s day with a lot of gratitude.