Meanwhile, on Okrika Island, Nigeria, young females learn about the responsibilities of womanhood through the enlightening power of imprisonment and ritual humiliation. Girls who are eligible for the ritual (only virgins need apply) have their legs shackled to restrict movement, at which point they are isolated in a room in their parents' house for three weeks. Then, when they are good and stir-crazy, they are wrapped up in huge cloth skirts so that they can dance and sit in the market square in booths known as the "house of memories" decorated by the participants' families, with happy photographs of the very people who just shackled them in a room for nearly a month.
Then, on the final day of the ceremony, the girls (whose feet are still shackled together) are forced to run away from a bunch of men who chase them and hit them with sticks, allegedly to beat the water spirits out of them so that they can be free to start a family with a human. Of course, after weeks of constant trauma, there's probably nothing they're less interested in doing anyway.
The Native American Trial of Horrors
The Mandan tribe really didn't mess around when it came to proving their manhood. Their rite of passage, called the okipa ceremony, basically came about when a bunch of them sat down to brainstorm the most horrible things that they could possibly do to a person.
First, the young men weren't allowed to eat, drink or sleep for four days, after which they had a friendly-sounding celebration called the bison dance. When the dance ended, that's when they had wooden poles driven through their flesh and were suspended screaming from the ceiling until they passed out, which for us would have been the moment that we heard about it happening to somebody else.
"OK, I'm unconscious."
"We haven't even put the hooks in yet."
It was only when the young warriors fainted that they were allowed to come down from the rafters. When they awoke, it was seen as a sign that they had gained approval from the spirits, and they were from that moment men. And that's when they had both of their pinkie fingers chopped off and were made to run around the camp a few times while still impaled with wooden rods and spurting fountains of blood from their hands.
It's the worst Super Soaker fight ever.
Having already won the spirits' approval, we have to assume that they just did this part for shits and giggles. And come to think of it ... we're pretty sure that's why all of these ceremonies existed.
Richy Craven is a writer for Man Cave Daily and is also on Twitter.
For more terrifying rituals from around the world, check out The 5 Creepiest Death Rituals From Around the World and 5 Cultures With the Most WTF Wedding Rituals.
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