Five Fascinating Unusual Rites Of Passage

Published December 22, 2011
Updated May 14, 2014

Wysoccan, Algonquin Indian Tribe

Algonquins and their rites of passage

In Quebec, young boys of the Algonquin Indian Tribe were caged and fed the hallucinogen, wysoccan, to usher them into manhood. Considered more powerful than LSD, the drug was used to force adolescents to forget memories of their childhood.

Unusual Rites Of Passage: Teeth Filing, Bali

Unusual Rites Of Passage Bali Teeth Filing

In Bali, it is customary for boys and girls to have their upper teeth filed as part of their coming of age rites. Sharp front teeth are believed to symbolize coarseness, so when the teeth are filed the trait is thought to be lost. Teeth filing is a very common, strictly regulated practice.

Female Infibulation

Female infibulation is a horrific rite of passage that has been condemned worldwide. The female version of circumcision, it removes the labia and clitoris. Once these are removed, a wall of skin and flesh forms and makes a barrier across the vagina. Afterward, a small hole is pricked in this barrier for urine and menstruation. It is practiced extensively in parts of Africa, and is also common in the Middle East, parts of Asia and the Pacific, North and Latin America and Europe.

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