process of manhood

The content of the “kakuungu” mask is constructed of wood with a distinctive carving that outlines the cheeks and eyes of the mask. The cheeks are outlined to show the definition of the eyes that are wide and almond shaped. The surface is to rough and has a sharp image to the structure.The mask is sometimes covered with animal’s skin and loose raffia strips. This mask is one of the most powerful and oldest that exists. The mask is known well to be the mask of initiation.

In the process of initiation, in which the transformation of childhood to manhood takes place, certain rituals and procedures are carried out, particularly in the African culture that is located in northern Suku. It is of ritual and social activities where the manhood of an uncircumcised boy is transformed. The average age of the boys range from ten to fifteen years of age. However, in rare cases the candidates might be as old as twenty years of age, married, and have already fathered a child. The people present for this occasion may be camp officials, the village chief and his consultant, and people from villages in the neighborhood. A formal opening takes place the day before the circumcision. The day of circumcision begins around 5:00 am with the rhythm of drums. The initiation uses special structures such as the kakuugu mask and sculptured post. They provide a charm to the initiation process. During the preparation of the ceremony the members of the tribe take notice to the different mask, while doing this they show deference to all. At the ceremony, the initiation process takes place by a tree where the kakuungu masks appear in the village to frighten women and children and also seek out pregnant women. The official soon after starts a chant and the young candidates respond. They are then protected by a charm specialist and sent to the headmaster “kahyuudi”. As the music plays from the rhythm of the drums and the chanting of a song doing an encircling dance they form a wide oval around the fire. The person being initiated is required to endure pain and fear without a sound or a cry. Days following the circumcision, the men are to remain naked in the open. The incision is cleaned and bandaged with a leaf. The process of initiation is traditionally held as a coming out festivity, which includes feasting, dancing and honoring the initiant. This ritual is performed to install manhood into a boy. Bibliography:

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