John Brearley Botswana Collection

Interview: The Ritual of Celebration of Female Puberty. Part 2 of 2

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  • Type


  • Duration


  • Cultures

    Khoisan (Naro) [Nharo]

  • Shelf mark


  • Subjects

    Puberty rites; Lamellophone

  • Is part of (Collection)

    John Brearley Botswana Collection

  • Performers

    Brearley, John? (speaker, male), unidentified (speakers)

  • Recordist

    Brearley, John

  • Description

    Female speaker named Dada (transcribed by ear) translated into English by Judas. Girl involved in the initiation ceremony to celebrate the first menstruation of a girl (female puberty ritual) discusses it. The ceremony is only attended by women; the men have to stay away. A group of women gather to sing and dance outside a hut prepared for the ceremony. In the hut there is the girl for whom the ceremony is performed. The young girl remains inside at all times quietly. Food is also prepared for the occasion and is served to the girl first. The ceremony last for three or four days during which the dancing and singing continues sporadically. It ends with the cessation of the menstrual flow. After being bathed the girl reassumes normal life and prepares food for the women who have been participating in the ceremony. The songs performed in this ceremony are called Eland because according to the interviewee it is the best and most important animal for them.

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