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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Changes in the Practice of Circumcision among the Iraqw of Tanzania
Author:Wada, Shohei
Year:1992
Periodical:Senri Ethnological Studies
Issue:31
Pages:159-172
Language:English
Geographic term:Tanzania
Subjects:Iraqw
circumcision
female circumcision
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Health and Nutrition
Abstract:In contrast to female initiation rites ('marmo', the female seclusion rite, was abandoned following the political judgment of Chief Mikael Ahho in the 1930s), male initiation rituals among the Iraqw of Tanzania were not the object of political or religious opposition, and continued to flourish as collective rituals. In the village of Giting at the foot of Mount Hanang, where the author first began conducting research in 1964-1966, male initiation rites seemed to have continued basically unchanged since the 1930s. The author discusses the process of male circumcision as practised by the Iraqw, paying attention to the age of circumcision, preparations for the ceremony, the arrival of the guests with gifts, the ceremony site, the ceremonial procession, the circumcision, and the feast. Since the abandonment of 'marmo', the female circumcision ceremony has been completely individualized and consists only of the clitoridectomy itself. The next turning point for Iraqw initiation ceremonies came in the early 1970s. This time the changes were brought about as a result of the agricultural reforms, based on 'ujaama' policy, that were enforced in Iraqw villages. The practice of circumcision in the absence of ritual, however, has endured. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum.
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