Coming of age is welcomed in different ways and manners all around the world. While for some people it may mean a celebration of an age which legalizes them to certain activities, for others it is nothing less than a living nightmare.
Here are some of the weirdest and most terrifying puberty customs from around the world:
1. Boys of the Etoro tribe of Papua New Guinea drink their elders’ sperm to achieve manhood.
As gross as it sounds, boys of Etoro tribe of Papua New Guinea are famous among anthropologists for their ritual homosexual acts, including drinking their elders’ sperm to accomplish maturity and to enhance their status as true men. This tribe strongly believes that the vitality of machismo and the real power of man lies in the semen of an elder.
2. Girls in Somalia and Egypt face clitoral mutilation.
Although it is more prevalent in Somalia and Egypt , girls mainly in African and middle eastern countries face merciless genital mutilation which literally implies sealing the vagina. This is done to prevent any possible sexual indulgence by a girl as the virgin’s seal is broken only on the night of consummation by the husband.
3. Under the Menses Rites of Uaupes, girls have to undergo rigorous beating sessions.
Under the Menses rituals of Uaupes, Brazil, girls are brought out naked on the streets and are beaten to death or unconsciousness. If the girls still wake up after this callous treatment, they are considered womanly and worthy of marriage.
4. In the Barabaig Culture of East Africa, boys get their faces scarred.
Boys of the Barabaig tribe in East Africa, on reaching puberty have to get their heads shaved and their faces scarred for life. The scars, also known as gar, are a sign of true manhood and they have to wear it with pride.
5. In the Louiseno Indian Tribe, young boys lie on a bed of red ants.
Under the puberty custom of the Louiseno Indian tribe, young boys have to undergo a painful rite of lying on a bed of red ants. During this vile procedure, these young boys are recognized as men only if they do not express their pain or burn in misery.
6. Australian Aboriginal boys have their penises pierced at the base.
Considered as one of the most painful rites in the world, Australian Aboriginal boys, on reaching puberty have to get their penises pierced at the base. This is done to practice the birth control ritual in the tribe. After the procedure, it makes it difficult for the male to procreate without anyone’s assistance.
7. Boys of the Satere-Mawe tribe have to wear gloves full of bullet ants.
Boys of the Amazon’s Satere-Mawe tribe, on coming of age have to ritually wear gloves full of bullet ants to prove their power of masculinity to the tribe. Participants may experience partial paralysis and numbness. But the rite isn’t over there. Boys have to go through the ordeal at least 20 times over a period of months or even years.
8. Boys in the highlands of Papua New Guinea undergo brutal bloodletting to expel their mother’s blood.
Boys in the highlands of Papua New Guinea have to undergo a blood filtration rite under the tribe’s puberty laws and customs. This is done to separate their blood from their mother’s blood and includes blood drainage through atrocious methods like shoving canes through their throats or putting reeds up their nostrils.
9. In Bali, Indonesia, it is a tradition for young boys and girls to file their upper canines.
In Bali, Indonesia all the adolescent girls and boys have to necessarily get their upper canines filled even with the upper incisors. This is performed as a purification rite because teeth in Bali are considered as a strong sign of evil, lust, anger and greed.
10. Girls of Paraguay and Brazil get extensive body tattoos when they come of age.
In Paraguay and Brazil, girls who come of age have to get extensive tattoos on their bodies mainly on their stomachs, breasts and backs. This painful procedure is not considered as a form of physical suffering but rather a sign of sexual attractiveness in women.
11. Boys of South Pacific Vanatu have to jump off a 100 ft wall.
One of the most peculiar traditions of all, boys of South Pacific Vanatu on reaching puberty have to pass an extremely reckless test of masculinity. They are stripped naked and pushed off a 100 ft tall wall, their safety secured only with a vine. Talk about taking the leap into manhood.
12. Boys of Algonquin Indian Tribe of Quebec are drugged with hallucinogens
Boys of Algonquin Indian Tribe on coming of age are caught in a cage and are intoxicated using hallucinogens and a dangerous drug called wysoccan. All this is done to blow away the memories of childhood and the child-like innocence from the boy and also to ensure his masculine prowess.