Coming of Age Rites – The Fulani

In the Fulani tribe, traditions is highly regarded and still holds strong even in this present day. When a Fulani boy comes of age, he has to endure a great deal of pain to be considered a man. First, they spend hours looking for the perfect stick. This stick will later be used to whip their opponent. Their opponent will in turn be hitting them back. The boy who flinches less while being hit, and hits their opponent the hardest will be declared the winner. Their male elders will sharpen the stick to make sure it will cause the most pain for the opponent.
The Girls also have a very painful transition from childhood to womanhood. They must get their face fully done with traditional tattoos. The tattoos are usually done by local artists. Although, these tattoos are made by tiny needles with ink. The artist needs to prick her face thousands of times to get the designs done properly. If the girls cry or show pain during this process then the tattooing will have to be delayed and she will have to wait until she is older. This tattooing takes hours.

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