Contexts in Rites of Passage Essay

Arnold new wave Gennep ( 1909 ) has definedrites de transitionas ritual ceremonials that mark an individual’s procedure from one stage of life to another. Harmonizing to Victor Turner ( 1969 ) , the person goes through a structural alteration in society through the three phase transitional procedure: Separation, in which the person is temporarily set apart from a peculiar ‘state’ in society ; Liminality, in which the person is mediate constructions and traveling through a passage from his/her old individuality to a new status/position in society and a concluding phase of Re-incorporation, in which he/she is re-admitted back into society, after isolation, with a new function and individuality. The chief focal point of this essay is to detect the transformative province from one structural place to another in different contexts and integrating them with my research on Batswana Male Initiation( Bogwera ). Male induction form is that in which the male childs are carried off from the small town into the shrub ( separation ) , where they are subjected to assorted ordeals and given direction ( liminal rites ) , after which they return to the small town where they are received as grownups ( re-incorporation ) .

Bogwerais the name of the induction school for male childs who belong to the Botswana folk. Within the Botswana traditions, age regiments (mephato) are formed every few old ages and it is compulsory that every Tswana grownup should belong to one. A regiment is a organic structure that is normally under the leading and authorization of a member of the royal household and consists of tribesmen of the same sex and age who went through induction at the same clip. Formation of a regiment is followed by a sequence of rites, jointly known asBogwera– the passage from a male child to a adult male, with rights and duties.

The “rites of separation” mark their going from a peculiar structural phase in their lives and it is at this phase that the Tswana male childs prepare themselves to undergo the induction ceremonial. This group of to-be-initiated male childs is calledMagwane.Magwanestay in their allocated groups making their day-to-day jobs in the Fieldss and cattle stations. They spend their darks in typical vesture singing contemptuous vocals and arousing people. One of their cardinal rites was stick combat, spliting themselves into two squads and contending each other utilizing sticks from themoretlwa( wild berry ) tree ( Schapera, 1978 )

Symbolically,Magwanehold their alone manner of vesture that separates from the other male childs. They had caput cogwheel made from a strip ofKgokong( wildebeest ) and wore dikola ( leather aprons made from calf tegument ) during stick battles ( Mosothwane, 2001 ) . These symbolic pieces of vesture condenseMagwaneby conveying all down to a certain degree. They become united because they all wear the same types of vesture and take part in the same activities which represent the fact that they are a uniformed people belonging to the same group. These symbols besides polarise them by dividing them from the remainder of the male childs and possessing their ain individuality. WhenMagwanego forth the small town to undergo induction in the shrub, they leave their caput cogwheels behind as a mark that they were no longer little male childs as the cogwheels signified ( Masothwane, 2001 ) . When the male childs leave their places to travel to the shrub where there will be initiated is the physical signifier of their separation.

The period of being aMagwanenormally lasted about 3 old ages until the head and his council members were certain that the male childs were competent for the induction procedure. Once enrolled into an induction school( Bogwera) ,Magwanewere now referred to asMagwerain their initial stage ( Masothwane, 2001 ) . This is the phase whereby the boys semen intoBogweraas novitiates and will come out novices into manhood. Those who ne’er went through induction were seen as boys regardless of their age ( Schapera, 1994 ) . This meant that they could non sit or eat with other work forces at theKgotla( a traditional tribunal where Batswana work forces held meetings ) ; they could non take part in tribal treatments and societal determination devising ( Willouyhby, 1909 ; Breutz, 1953 ; Schapera, 1978 ) . Uninitiated male childs are prohibited from marrying and are despised by adult females in the community.

During the induction procedure, instruction of tribal vocals and symbolic dances take topographic point.Magweraare taken into detention of their seniors who teach them tribal Torahs and traditions, contending accomplishments, duties, valuing cowss as the rule beginning of support, determination devising processs at theKgotla, lessons on morality and instructions on how to associate to adult females. The novices are trained to be brave and endure adversities ( Blacking, 1969 ) by being subjected to famishment, assault, doubtful undertakings and anguish. They are made to take part in strenuous hunting expeditions, all with the intent of indurating them ( Schapera, 1994 ) .

Magwerahad a certain codification of garb which symbolized their journey to manhood. They wore leather underclothes (phuduhudu) and leather shawls (makobolo) ( Mosothwane, 2001 ) . While I the shrub, these male childs spent their clip hunting, singing initiate vocals and making craftwork. During this class, Circumcision was a rite of transition for immature male childs come ining manhood which was performed by ‘Rathipana’( Father of the small knife ) . However, the revivedBogweradoes non include ‘Rathipana’ because of the deficiency of hygiene and safety thereof. The modern method is traveling to a infirmary for a safe process of Circumcision. January 1 was performed for hygienic intents and it is seen as a powerful tool forestalling HIV and other infections from distributing.

At the initial ceremonial, the novices smeared themselves with wood coals assorted with fat and called it ‘Bogwera bo bontsho’( The black induction ) . It was held in the large cowss kraal where they were given extra disciplinary direction. At this phase of re-incorporation, an person is given a regimental name stand foring his regimental rank and undertakings to execute as a new regiment, e.g. military foray, killing a king of beasts, hunting, etc. Thereafter, the immature male child walks back into his community as a adult male with many rights, including the right to get married and to take portion in the traditional treatments held at thekgotla. At this point, the end has been reached: ‘The end of induction is to transform the novice, doing him different from what he had been and detaching him from childhood ( Lincoln, 1981 ) . The intent of induction is for the novices to larn their gender-based duties, self-respect and regard between sexes, every bit good as values of Setswana civilization ( Madison, no day of the month ) .

Victor Turner mentions the construct of‘communitas’which refers to an unstructured society in which people are on the same degree. A societal construction of‘communitas’is one based on homogeneousness and common humanity instead than recognized hieracrchy ( Maynard, 2007 ) . A Batswana regiment (mephato) is one of the illustrations of communitas because it consists of people of the same sex and age sing Liminality together. They participate in legion activities jointly, there’s a feeling of group solidarity which binds these people together on a tribal degree and integrates members of the folk into a incorporate whole. ‘Communitas’ takes community to the following degree and allows the whole of the community to portion a common experience, normally through a rite of transition ( Maynard, 2007 ) . In this instance, when male childs undergo induction, they are brought to the same degree making the same thing.

The queuing of migrators outside of Home Affairs is seen as waiting in a liminal stage. As aliens in South Africa, migrators are frequently found waiting long periods, waiting for paperss, for authorities services, and waiting in the Lindela detainment Centre in instance of exile ( Sutton, Vigneswaran, Wels, 2011 ) . Waiting in a liminal infinite is waiting in outlook of something to go on. This can be seen as a transformative rite that ‘exemplifies the passage of an person from one province to another’ ( Deflem 1991:13 ) . The relationship between ‘waiting’ and power is challenged here excessively – refers to the fact that the more power an person has in society, the lupus erythematosus they have to wait for anything. In a peculiar instance, migrators come ining South Africa to seek refuge have to wait to secure and keep travel paperss and entree to services. At this point of Liminality, people are ‘betwixt and between’ their migrator and occupant position ( Sutton, Vigneswaran, Wels, 2011 ) .

Entering a new state as a migrator, waiting to get an refuge position can be compared to come ining intoBogweraas a male child, waiting for the twenty-four hours that he is regarded as a adult male. The three phases of the rites of transition are apparent in both contexts. In phase 1, a individual would come in into a new state as a migrator and if we are mentioning toBogwera, so the Batswana male child would be come ining a shrub cantonment as portion ofmagwane( group of ‘to-be-initiated’ male childs ) . In phase 2, the migrator needs to use for position andmagwera( novices ) have to take portion in activities, learn assorted things and go circumcised. In the 3rdand concluding phase, the migrator might hold become a South Africa occupant and the Batswana male novice may have his position as a adult male.

HIV/AIDS is by and large a societal issue which affects people’s lives, hinders their productiveness and as a consequence, has an impact on the economic system. The best possible manner of covering with HIV/AIDS, diminishing the spread thereof, is through educating people and increasing consciousness. This is an issue that every member of society should be responsible for – politicians, spiritual leaders, ritual experts, medical practicians, business communities and so forth. Everyone needs to take the enterprise to assist to contend off the spread of HIV/AIDS. There are biomedical accounts to the AIDS epidemic and on the contrastive side, there is hereditary cognition used as a beginning.

The Venda girls’ induction and AIDS bar is non based on scientific intervention, which resulted to a violent reaction of ritual seniors when antiretroviral ( ARV ) medicine and rubbers were mentioned in the vocals being sung by novices. The ritual experts had clearly interpreted the biomedical cognition of HIV/AIDS as a menace to their hereditary cognition ( McNeil, 2011 ) . They believed that AIDS is caused by the accretion of pollution’ in a female organic structure that does non follow with the regulations and ordinances (milayo) of the induction procedure ( McNeil, 2011 ) –viewing the female figure as the possible perpetrator for the cause of HIV/AIDS. To them, rubbers and preventives are a menace to the publicity of sexual wellness and societal reproduction. The Venda’s scheme to keep sexual wellness, which is related to catamenial blood, is through thorough cleaning of the perceived beginning of ‘pollution’ . In contrast, the Batswana ritualists believe in the biomedical scheme of Circumcision of magwera as bar against HIV/AIDS. They believe that merely a circumcised adult male is clean and non easy susceptible to diseases ( BOTUSA NEWS, 2007 ) . In the Batswana civilization, work forces are seen as possible perpetrators for the spread of diseases and infections if Circumcision does non take topographic point.

The Zulu girls’ virginity testing (ukuhlolwa kwezintombi) is a Zulu manner of advancing female celibacy and pureness as an AIDS bar scheme ( Scourgie, 2002 ) . This abstains the misss from sex in order to be protected from assorted diseases and unwanted gestations. The virginity proving scheme is as controversial affair because human rights militants argue that it is a misdemeanor of the right to privacy and command over one’s organic structure. However, many misss and adult females take pride in this because for many, it clarifies their virginity and therefore their pureness. Virginity, in the Zulu civilization is besides closely linked toloboladialogues. The birthrate of land is besides connected to the pureness of a female organic structure, which is tarnished through the commixture of different bloods through holding more than one sexual spouse –causing pollution to the female organic structure. The testing can besides be seen as a local public wellness enterprise, NC council member Nondumiso Ndlovu said: “ It ‘s our civilization… this is one of the civilizations that need to be preserved otherwise we will go on holding illegal abortions and unplanned gestations, striving authorities kid support grants. “ ( Mdletshe, 2012 ) . Virginity proving is more of a preventative than a diagnostic event, an attempt to observe, support and advance virginity, and therefore, in the long tally, to forestall immature misss from undertaking HIV ( Wickstrom, 2010 ) .

In decision, rites of transition can be likened to assorted contexts.