Pygmy Elder in Mask

« Back to Ituri Pygmies: Who Rules the Forest? September 2005 National Geographic Magazine

The whipping is more severe on the last day and includes a ceremony where the boys are secluded within a phalanx of men all carrying whips... the men are met halfway thru the village with women carrying whips and a melee ensues trying to control the destiny of the child... the men win... the boy is now a man and cannot be claimed as a child anymore by his mother.  There is also ritual scarification on this day and each boy is paraded, one by one thru the village accompanied by a masked elder and someone to collect the money being thrown at his dancing feet...
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The whipping is more severe on the last day and includes a ceremony where the boys are secluded within a phalanx of men all carrying whips... the men are met halfway thru the village with women carrying whips and a melee ensues trying to control the destiny of the child... the men win... the boy is now a man and cannot be claimed as a child anymore by his mother. There is also ritual scarification on this day and each boy is paraded, one by one thru the village accompanied by a masked elder...
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