Rites of Passage. In the Beginning…. During the early 20th century, the Belgian anthropologist, Arnold Van Gennep, observed that all cultures have prescribed ways for an individual and society to deal with these emotion charged situations through rituals. He called them rites of passage.
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BIRTH: Even as its roots stay well within the darkness of the Earth, the tiny plant knows which way to grow.
CHILDHOOD: Its roots grow stronger and deeper.
ADOLESCENCE: The tree is vibrant, full of life and potential, its essence bursting; flower buds appear and begin to open.
ELDER: The fruit has ripened. There is now an abundance of food to nourish and nurture new life.
DEATH: It has lived its life. What is left returns to the Earth in honor of all she has given. This in turn replenishes the soil with nutrients. Death gives new life.
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
In indigenous societies of Africa and Australia, circumcision and/or subincision has been an integral part of such rites. For girls it can be clitoridectomy.
The Massai of Kenya group together for circumcision.
4 students charged in California fraternity hazing death
May 26, 2009 12:50 PM
Four California college students face charges stemming from a fraternity hazing that caused the alcohol-induced death of a freshman at California Polytechnic State University. Carson Starkey, 18, of Austin, Texas, was found dead in December with a blood-alcohol level between 0.39 percent and 0.44 percent. He had to drink a bag full of alcoholic drinks as part of the fraternity pledging process, police said. Starkey was pledging the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, which has since been suspended.
ALSO...from The Wilmington News Journal: The Delaware Attorney General's office has charged University of Delaware fraternity Sigma Alpha Mu with hazing in connection with the death of former student Brett Griffin. The charge comes a week after Griffin's parents, Timothy and Julie Griffin, filed a wrongful death civil suit against that national chapter of Sigma Alpha Mu.Griffin, 18, died after an off-campus party in November. The civil suit also accuses the fraternity of hazing. It contends that Griffin was pressured into drinking an excessive amount of Southern Comfort. Fraternity brothers did not call for medical assistance for hours, the suit alleges, but waited until Griffin's lips turned blue
Early tattooing was used to symbolize the fertility of the earth and of womankind, preservation of life after death, the sacredness of chieftainship and other cultural factors.