Images of disappeared, or nearly disappeared, African tradition


Before a Xhosa boy can become a man, he has to go through the initiation ceremony of the Khwetha, or circumcision lodge. If the boy didnít do this, he would still be considered a boy. During the time of the initiation, they live in special huts, secluded from the rest of the tribe and especially from any females. They undergo training and endurance tests, which require great discipline. The boys daub themselves all over with white sandstone. Finally on the day of the coming out they burn all the items that they have used in the rituals including the huts. They are required to bury their foreskin and are driven to the river while being beaten by the initiators. Finally all the white sandstone is washed from their bodies and with it the last vestiges of their youth. They are men at last !


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