Contributer Max Hydrogen Has written about the Ulwaluko Xhosa traditions which practice ritual male circumcision before here, but I think it necessary to remind people of just how barbaric these practices can get. It is, unfortunately perfectly acceptable to use all manor of religious freedom justifications to mutilate the genitals of the male sex. Several infants in an ultra orthodox jewish sect in new york city have contracted herpes and even died after a ritual called metzitzah b’peh, which involves circumcision followed by ritual sucking of the blood, passed the virus from the rabbi performing it to the infants.
Had this act been performed under a non religious capacity, it would undoubtedly be called what it is, child sexual assault and genital mutilation. I bring up the Jewish example only to serve as a sign post to let us know that we are not above the atrocious Xhosa rituals that I will share with you here. This is not simply a horrific traditional Xhosa practice visited on the men of their culture, we do it as well here in the west to our own baby boys. But the male genital mutilation that occurs in many of these ulwaluko ceremonies are just, shock inducing.
First a bit of background on Ulwaluko and the Xhosa traditions and customs from an article titled A MONTH WITH THREE INITIATES DURING THE XHOSA CIRCUMCISION RITUAL , it is essentially a coming of age ritual, involving an expedition into the bush away from the safety of the tribe that culminates in a circumcision ritual. It is said that the utmost care is taken to ensure that the circumcision is performed in clean conditions but the act, which is performed with a spear has led to genital infections that are frankly horrific and disgusting.
I urge all reading this to actually take a look at the damage that has been done to the genitals of these young men because of this ritual, but I most warn you, these images are extremely disturbing and graphic, click at your own risk. I do not wish to demonize the Xhosa people with this post, but do wish to highlight this practice and in doing so hope to raise awareness, so that eventually this practice is done away with and removed from xhosa traditions and customs forever. Xhosa men must reject it, and we must reject it.