Rites of Passage Essay

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Pages: 7

Rites of Passage

When an individual experiences movement, or a change from an affixed position in society to another position, that individual can easily describe their change as a passage into a new realm of living. A new realm of living is the way in which the individual and society views, acknowledges, and proceeds with their life. Their changes are monumental not only for the individual, but for his/her society as well. Many changes take place during the span of a persons life. They become rites of passage and rituals of initiation-which are more than just simple changes. A plethora of come with these rites and are found in all corners of the globe. Going on vision quests, by the plains Indians of
North America, to circumcision
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It makes them a strong force of men, not boys who hold no authority. The competition makes the ceremony that much more important. But that is not where it stops; the ritual benefits the rest of the tribe as well. The boys move from childhood to manhood, and in doing so take on the positions, and responsibilities of the elderly, which might not be able to take on those responsibilities in the near future. The Kurnai see their ritual as something that should not be passed onto anyone other than the men of that particular clan, or tribe. Such secrecy adds a rather interesting dimension to the rite. It obviously governs much of the behavior of the men, in that they learn the meaning of sacredness. Without it they could not affix any importance to the changes necessary for moving into manhood. The religious nature of manhood would be lost. As for the rest of the tribe, the women, and young girls, considerable changes take place in their view of the men. There is a new group of men, with the knowledge of their sacred ritual, and they are ready to carry on the tradition. The women can confide in the new initiates that there are men and not boys being the fathers of the future initiates. Overall, both initiation rites become a cycle of incorporation into adult life. The importance of examining these two rites leads us to a better understanding of them. The ceremonies act as a turning point in the lives of the initiates, and the rest of the