Xhosa youths undergoing traditional initiation to man-hood.
Circumcision is practiced by many different cultures all over
In his autobiography, A long Walk to Freedom, President Nelson Mandela gave a very moving account of his own initiation. Comic books about Mandela’s life aimed at encouraging young South Africans to read also did potray the riveting story of the ritual initiation experience Madiba underwent.
"In my tradition an uncircumcised male cannot be heir to his fathers wealth, cannot marry or officiate in tribal rituals. an uncircumcised Xhosa man is a contradiction in terms, for he is not considered a man at all but a boy."
It is not just a surgical procedure, but a lengthy and elaborate ritual in preparation for manhood.
"Clad only in blanket the boys stood in a row as an elederman began the initiation process...flinching and crying out was a sign of weakness and stigmatized ones manhood. I was determined not to disgrace myself, the group or my guardian. Circumcision is a ritual of bravery... a man must suffer in silence."
At the conclusion of the ceremony, we returned to our huts. We were ordered to lie on our backs in the smoky huts, with one leg flat and one leg bent.
Text Of Mandelas Initiation Experience and More Information
A Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela Click here to purchase the Book