In the previous chapter, we saw that the relations among community members, nonhuman agencies, and the non-Manchineri shape a web of connections in which young Manchineri people strive to form their subjectivity. This chapter focuses on contemporary ritualistic transitions that prepare indigenous youths to strengthen their position, body, and knowledge in relation to others and to learn about themselves as actors in the world: a transition to adulthood. In the first section I discuss young Manchineri experiences of the traditional puberty ritual in different villages within the reserve and in the city. The ethnography shows both continuation and change, reflecting the relationship to a changing forest environment and the new social contexts within which young people act. The second section examines schooling, one of the most important contemporary rites of passage, marking the person’s embodiment of knowledge in a novel system largely designed by the state. Finally I turn to new types of matrimony and shifts in the assignment of gender tasks, roles, and social status. The main message of this chapter is that young people themselves have taken an active role in strengthening their bodies and minds and in structuring their own learning processes.
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- Ritual Passages from Soft to Firm
Pirjo Kristiina Virtanen
- Palgrave Macmillan US
- Chapter 2