Cultural Anthropology

Male Initiation Ceremonies



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Male initiation ceremonies are the core of any civilization. They help a boy become a man and feel that he is an important part of his culture and society. Let's take a look at this more closely.

The Jewish culture is one of the most famous male initiation ceremony practicing cultures. Judaism is not just a religion. It is a culture and an identity that is as important to a man as his name and family. It defines who you are a part of, and where you belong at the end of the day. Male initiation ceremonies provides a sense of belonging that is comforting to the boy as he becomes a man. It is widely known about to most people today.

Native American cultures have some of the most spiritual male initiation ceremonies yet to date. These ceremonies are part of a boy gaining knowledge of himself like most male initiation ceremonies. There are more spiritual tests to most Native American male initiation ceremonies than many other cultures. This is not something a boy can fake. He must take it serious or not be accepted in the community of his peers. If he fails at this or fails to take this male initiation ceremony serious he may rejected completely from society. In some remote cultures of Native Americans this can prevent him from finding a wife. This has financial and emotional as well as societal issues that can last for his life. Experiencing this can lead to a man leaving the area completely. So these male initiation ceremonies are taken very serious by boys growing up in several Native American cultures.

Ancient European male initiation ceremonies were about the ability to provide protection to the women of the community and culture. These ceremonies focused on physical strength in display to prove these talents and strengths. Boys had to develop physically to be able to prove themselves in their culture.

Today, in the United States many societies have initiation ceremonies that mirror these male initiation ceremonies from days gone by. These are often so physically demanding to the initiate that harm may come to the male initiate. College fraternities are the best example of this today. While we are amazed at the brutality of these ceremonies today we must recall the ones from the past from which these initiation ceremonies are historically based.

As we have seen in this article; male initiation ceremonies are the core of any civilization. They help a boy become a man and feel that he is an important part of his culture and society. These traditions help keep a culture intact; and are of great value to the boy that is becoming a man.

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