Do you sometimes wonder about the life of the people who have never lived connected with civilization- the tribes still living in hiding, in the woods? Well, here are the top 15 tribal traditions followed by such tribes that will allow you a glimpse of their lives, which is fascinating and historical in its ways.
1. The Dance Of The San
The San people of Africa consider dance to possess a power that can heal the physically injured people and the vices of their community. These people perform their tribal traditions in the form of dance for several hours accompanied by elders to eradicate any bad fortune that might fall on their community.
2. The Ndebele Wedding Ceremony
A particularly beautiful one among tribal traditions, the bride gets ready according to unique rituals in a Ndebele wedding ceremony. It is basically a form of thanks to the groom’s mother. She prepares a Jocola for the bride, which the bride wears on her wedding day. It is also a ceremony of gratitude to the bride, where the groom thanks his bride for marrying him.
3. Lip Plates
The Mursi tribe of southwestern Ethiopia has a unique tradition of wearing huge lip plates that stretch out their lower lip to an enormous size. The plates are worn since childhood and are replaced with bigger sizes each following year.
4. Bullet-Ant Gloves
The Satere-Mawe tribe of Brazil follows a tradition where they make little boys wear gloves woven out of living bullet-ants. The pain of a bullet ant’s sting is as severe as being shot. The initiate has to wear the gloves for ten whole minutes, and most boys get temporarily paralyzed because of the ant’s venom. This rite is one of the most severe rituals performed in the world.
5. Coils Around Neck
The Kayan women of Burma wear coils around their necks since childhood. Their necks get so used to it that a grown Kayan woman can fit about 15-20 coils. It is falsely assumed that this gives them long necks. In reality, rings actually press down the shoulders and lower the clavicles. It is also said that their necks are so weak that if the rings were removed, the women will not be able to keep their necks upright.
6. Namibia Tribe’s Path To Beauty
The women of Namibia tribe have red-tinged skin and hair, which they get by applying a homemade paste of butter, fat and red ochre. The women apply the paste every morning. Although some say that it works as an insect repellent, the women themselves claim that it is solely for enhancing their beauty.
Scarification is an art just like a tattoo. But instead of ink, the body is injured in a way such that scars form designs after healing. The tribes of Papua New Guinea commonly practice this tradition. It is performed on young boys for welcoming them into adulthood.
8. Nature Worshipping Ritual Of Santhals
The Santhal people typically reside in the eastern parts of India. Santhals do not believe in worshipping idols. They are not atheists, but they find faith in nature and spirits. They believe in ghosts, and perform sacrifices and rituals to drive them away from their community.
9. Hamar Tribe
The Hamar tribe has an absolutely ridiculous initiation ritual. To complete the rite, boys must jump over 15 castrated bulls that are rubbed with dung to make their backs hard to step on. If a boy fails to complete it, he has to wait one whole year to perform it again. If he succeeds, he is said to be ready to get married.
10. Maasai Tribe
The Maasai tribe of Kenya considers spitting as a sign of respect and often uses it as a medium to convey blessings, to bid goodbye, to wish good luck, and for greeting. It is considered as a good omen.
11. Sentinelese’s Love For Buckets
This tribe is so cut off from civilization that they behave as downright hostiles when approached with any interaction from the modern world. A little is known of their rituals but one thing is for sure- they have an immense and inexplicable love for buckets, specifically red buckets. Why so? No one knows!
12. Fulani Tribe’s Whipping Ceremony
Fulani tribe of Africa has an initiation ritual that includes whipping. Two boys participate in the ceremony, and they whip each other for three minutes. The one who flinches less is announced the winner. According to them, this rite emphasizes that young boys must be able to endure pain and remain powerful.
13. Matausa Tribe’s Blood Ritual
The Matausa people’s ritual is formed on the belief that a boy must get his mother’s blood out of his body. The person has to insert two sticks down his throat to empty his stomach. Later, sharp reed sticks are shoved into his nostrils to get the blood and mucous out, which is followed by continuous stabbing of his tongue.
14. Sepik River Tribe’s Crocodile Scarification
The Sepik River tribe of Papua New Guinea practice one of the most painful rituals named crocodile scarification. This rite involves the development of scars that resemble crocodile scales. It is believed that during the process a young boy transforms into a man through reptilian divinity.
15. Land Diving
The tribe of south pacific Pentecost Island performs a scary and life-threatening tradition for a good yam harvest. To complete the rite, men jump from a distant height from the branches with only two vines securing their ankles. They are required to touch the ground with their shoulders, which often results in a smashed spine or a split skull.
Every tribe has their own traditions and rituals which have been followed for centuries. Although some rituals seem just a little odd to the modern eyes, they are sacred to the tribes and have their reasoning. It is indeed fascinating to know the existence of such astonishing tribal practices. It is essential to respect the tribes and their century-old traditions.