While some rituals can involve something as simple as a silent, individual prayer, others—especially those involving a larger group—can be extremely painful and violent. Rituals are an integral part of the African culture. They signify different aspects of life within the continent like achieving a new status on the social ladder or coming of age etc. Here are some of the most bizarre taboo rituals of Africa.
10. Maasai Moran
Maasai is a community in Kenya. Within the community, in order to be acknowledged and respected, a man is required to attain the ‘Moran’ status. In order to achieve this coveted status, the young man must go out into the jungle alone and hunt down a lion all by himself. He is not allowed to use a gun or any other fancy weapon. The only thing he can use is a ‘’Spear.’’
9. Wife Inheritance
Wife inheritance is one of the most bizarre taboo rituals of Africa that is still practiced in many communities. The brother of a person who has died recently can inherit his dead brother’s wife. This is done to make sure that the clan’s bonds remain tight. It is very unfortunate that the practice has become a very potent reason for the spread of AIDs. It is also in stark contrast to the fundamental human rights.
8. Sooth Saying-Puff Adder in mouth
There is a traditional healer in the Zulu communities of Africa. He is known as ‘’Sangoma.’’ He makes use of his puff adder in order to predict the future. He would also use the same instrument for healing the locals. The Sangoma places the puff adder near the mouth of the ailing person. One can wonder what would happen if the serpent suddenly changes its mind.
7. Blood-Water Beverage
The Samburu and the Maasai communities are regarded as the most hospitable in Tanzania and Kenya. They would always welcome a visitor. These communities usually treat their guests with roasted meat. However, one may also, at times, be required to drink fresh blood either mixed in milk or oozing from a live animal.
6. African Bull Fighting
Bullfighting is a famous game in Mexico and Spain. In fact, the game was invented in Africa where many communities followed it. In Africa, unlike theWest, there is are no security measures offered to the bullfighters. This has resulted in injuries and even deaths of several players of this game. The game is very popular in Kenya’s Luhya tribe.
5. Ritual Killing
Ritual killing is an integral part of the African culture. It is usually carried out under the orders of a king or a leader. The practice is still being followed in many communities of Africa. The target is usually a particular person or tribe. Take the example of Tanzania where Albinos, who are known locally as ‘zeruzeru,’ are apprehended and killed for the purpose of gaining material wealth.
4. Traditional Healing
In many cultures of Africa, medicine men and healers hold very special places. People would ask them for medical advice and revere them, for their allegedly divine powers. The hold of these people is so great that people prefer them over dispensaries, hospitals, churches and clinics. When a person is visiting them, he will be asked to bring snake eggs or crocodile eggs or, in some cases, claws, fangs or teeth of dangerous animals.
3. Ritual Sex Practices
One of the largest ethnic tribes in Uganda is known as Baganda. They have several rituals for which they are very famous. One of these rituals is particularly very dangerous. The community will indulge in rituals and dances in order to mark the entry of a person into adulthood. Young men can have sex with several girls. This is also a reason for the wider spread of AIDS within the region.
2. Male Circumcision with Knife
Male circumcision is a practice that is being carried out in Africa like several other places in the world. The ceremony is carried out in order to signify the maturity of a boy. The young male is usually circumcised with the help of a knife. No anesthetics are used during the process. The newly circumcised person will also be required to spend time in the forest in order to show the people that he is a courageous person.
1. Female Genital Mutilation
Female genital mutilation top the list of most bizarre taboo rituals of Africa. In some parts of Africa, women are also circumcised. It is a very painful process as compared to the male circumcision. The practice is now banned in many parts of Africa.