15 Weird And Disturbing Coming Of Age Rituals Around The World

on Mar, 07 2017 in Life Style/ Culture 23028 views

#11 Mentawai Teeth Sharpening


Western society is hardly the only cultural collective that is consumed by aesthetics and appearance. Even while many Western men and women can take extreme measures in order to live up to cultural ideals of beauty, they can’t compare to the natives of Indonesia’s Mentawai Islands. Mentawai tradition has long emphasized the importance of beauty, believing that a person will die if their soul becomes dissatisfied with the appearance of their body. To appease their beauty-conscious souls, Mentawai women who have reached puberty will sharpen their teeth with a rock and chisel and file them down. Because beauty means razor sharp fangs, apparently.

#12 Masai Lion Hunt

Being a part of the Masai warrior tribe is a proud and revered status to attain, even if it doesn’t often last very long. The Masai warriors are replaced every six to 10 years. During a young man’s tenure as a warrior, he is circumcised and then sent to live enclosed within the warriors camp until the next wave arrives. Time and environmental considerations have somewhat altered Masai warrior traditions, which once required each aspiring warrior to stalk and kill a lion armed with only a spear. After lions were protected under government animal legislation, that practice was phased out. However, future Masai warriors shouldn’t expect an easy path to elite status within the tribe.

#13 Algonquin Indian Trip – Youths Consume Substance To Induce Memory Loss Of Childhood


Drug abuse remains a rampant problem states-side, particularly among impressionable youth. Within the Algonquin tribe, use of drugs among young people isn’t so much a problem as it is a traditional cultural practice. Algonquin Indian men have their manhood tested by being taken to a secluded, caged area and drugged with a local memory loss substance called wysoccan. These young men are supposed to forget any memories of their childhood, literally forging into adulthood by leaving their past behind. In fact, if they still carry any remaining memory of their youth upon returning to the village, they can expect another dose of wysoccan coming their way.

#14 North Baffin Island – Young Men And Women Sent Into The Arctic To Fend For Themselves

Young Inuit children are just 11 or 12 when they are sent out into the wild to fend for themselves amidst harsh arctic conditions of North Baffin Island. Much like the vision quest, this tradition also carries the added peril of brutal winter weather. There’s also the strange spiritual component wherein a shaman is called in to open the lines of communication between the wilderness-bound humans and the animals and nature that surround them. On the plus side, the tradition has grown more modern over time. Now, young girls join in what was previously a male-only rite and out-camps have been developed to instill necessary skills in the participating youth.

#15 Hamar Cow Jumping

Whether it is “taking the plunge”, “getting hitched” or “tying the knot”, there is no shortage of phrases designed to recognize and represent the act of getting married. But “jumping the cow”? Perhaps it’s an idiom familiar to members of the Hamar tribe of Ethiopia. Before Hamar men are permitted to be wed, they must take part in a rite that combines pain with strange. They are first whipped by grown men in the tribe in front of female friends and family members before running naked across the backs of four castrated bulls lined up side by side. Once the running has been completed, the boy is now a man and is free to marry.