Saturday, February 21, 2009


When they are to become men, the boys of the Satere-Mawe tribe place their hands into mitts filled with biting, stinging insects. Their arms are paralyzed for hours and tremble for days afterward.

When a youth of the Tlitzteg people is of age to choose a bride, he first hurls himself from the cliff into the river. Should he emerge, bruised and battered, on the far bank, he is accounted a man.

Not to be outdone, the reclusive Zpatos have enhanced their maturity ritual to include complete decapitation. It is said to bring good luck and fruitful loins in marriage.

No comments: