Whether you celebrate your coming of age with a birthday party or by permanently disfiguring your body, most cultures on earth recognize the importance of rites of passage. The crazy rites of passage in this list commemorate a young adults’ entry into adulthood and the agonizing things they are willing to endure to earn the respect of their peers. These are 25 crazy rites of passage around the world!
Many aboriginal tribes of Australia send their young men into the wilderness for up to 6 months to test whether they are ready to become men. The boys must survive, unassisted, and keep themselves totally isolated. When they return after 6 months they will be considered men of the tribe.
Mentawai Teeth Sharpening
To the natives of the Mentawai Islands beauty is extremely important because if a person’s soul becomes dissatisfied with the appearance of its body, they believe the person will die. In order to beautify themselves young female Mentawaians who have reached puberty sharpen their teeth with a rock and chisel, and file them down to points.
Matis Hunting Trials
As soon as the time comes for boys of the Matis tribe in Brazil to go on the hunt they have a bitter poison dumped in their eyes in order to “improve” their vision. After this, they are beaten and whipped. Finally they must endure the excruciating conclusion to the trial in which they inject themselves with the poison of the Giant Leaf Frog using wooden needles.
Fulani Facial Tattoos
Woman of the Fula people in West Africa must have their faces tattooed before they are considered adults. The process takes several hours and is usually done with a sharpened piece of wood. Similar to a Fula boy’s whipping match (#13) if the girl cries or grimaces she is believed to be too young, and must wait to finish her tattoos and marry.
A boy of the Xhosa people of South Africa must be circumcised before being considered a man. He is shaved and taken into the mountains where he will live in seclusion in a hut built for him by his family. While in isolation, a surgeon comes and circumcises the boy, after which he is not allowed to return to the tribe until he is healed.