Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Dancing DeadRitual and Religion among the Kapsiki/Higi of North Cameroon and Northeastern Nigeria$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Walter E. A. van Beek

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199858149

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199858149.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 11 December 2019

The Brass Boys

The Brass Boys

Initiation

Chapter:
(p.207) 10 The Brass Boys
Source:
The Dancing Dead
Author(s):

Walter E. A. van Beek

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199858149.003.0010

The Kapsiki/Higi have a yearly boys’ initiation that forms a major focus of interest, since villages are proud of their initiates. The ritual proceedings are complicated, centering around a seclusion period, which gives a clear ritual definition of the boy’s new adult status. The symbolism is replete with references to war and to exploits in the bush. The coming-out rituals after seclusion focus on the collective identity of the boys as age-mates and on their association with the brides. Boys’ initiation rites vary between villages, as variations on a number of themes. From different subgroups within the Kapsiki/Higi conglomerate, three of these variations are given, which serve as a means for identity construction for the villages. The structure of initiation follows the classic tripartite format of rites of passage, but in a double way, both in the individual rites within initiation, and in the ritual complex as a whole. Characteristic is the close connection between human and agricultural fertility in this surprisingly gentle initiation.

Keywords:   initiation, seclusion, symbols, ritual variation, identity, fertility

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .