Rites of Passage
Anthony E Davis
ANT101 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
August 26, 2013
Rites of Passage
Many different cultures in the world hold a multitude of diverse traditions, beliefs, and values when it comes to implementing a person’s rite of passage. In this paper I will start off by defining what a rite of passage really is and going over the three universal stages of one’s rite of passage. I will then, describe the individual and cultural benefit of rites of passage rituals. I will continue by exploring 3 different culture’s beliefs, traditions, and values regarding their rites of passage(s). Lastly, I will then compare and contrast each of cultures similarities and differences within their rite of passage. Let’s begin from the start. What is a Rite of Passage?
A rite of passage is an endured life-cycle of events that lead up to and ready one for the transition from childhood to adulthood. There are many different cultures in the world and they all seem to have very diverse traditions when it comes to a person’s rite of passage into adulthood. Some different culture’s rites of passage(s) do seem a tad bit more unorthodox than most. Many cultures traditions are just plain out inhumane. There are many different types of rites of passage. These life-cycles range from general Coming-of-Age moments to Religious Ceremonies, to Professional and/or Academic phases. No matter what cultures at hand, every rite of passage has three basic stages.
The three stages of any rite of passage are; separation, transition, and reincorporation. Arnold Van Gennepe said it best with his explanation of the three stages. Gennepe describes the stage of Separation “Preliminal Rites”. He stated that the separation stage consists of the rites of separation from a previous world. Gennepe continues on, expressing the Transition stage as Liminal Rites. He explains this stage as being the threshold in the rite of passage. The final stage of a rite...