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Aboriginal Initiation Ceremonies

Aboriginal Initiation Ceremonies

Initiation ceremonies are performed to introduce and celebrate adolescent boys and girls as adult members of the community.

Aboriginal Initiation CeremoniesThe ages of the person being initiated varies between language groups, but usually occur between the ages of 10 and 16 years of age. Only those boys and girls who had proven themselves worthy of the responsibility of adulthood mentally and physically are initiated.

The time is decided on by specific members in the language group. This is often called one's right to passage. That is they have the right to pass from childhood to adulthood.Those being initiated are instructed and prepared for their roles within the ceremony and later in life as an adult. These teachings are taught over a period of many years by significant people within the language group.

During the ceremony everyone has a different role. The initiates are decorated with body paint and ornaments and are often given a permanent symbol on their bodies to show that they had been initiated into adult life. Initiated members would sometimes have a tooth removed, their ears or nose pierced or flesh cut with a particular sacred markings. Other members in the family would also carry special markings to commemorate the event. Special knowledge and skills are passed on through initiation ceremonies. These enable the new adult to function accordingly and in a new way within the language group.

Members of the language group would mourn the death of a child in the ceremony and later celebrate the birth of a new adult.

It would not be appropriate for a non-indigenous person to attend initiation ceremony.


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