ZIYAH GAFIĆ, PHOTOGRAPHER

  • Massai

  • MASSAI
    Circumsition ritual

    Client: Cordaid, The Netherlands

  • NGORONGORO AND SERENGETI AREA, TANZANIA - NOVEMBER 2004: A child walks through the entrance to the traditional settlement "Boma". Boma's are made up of between 5-15 small houses in a circle made of mud and cow feces. In the middle is smaller circle in which cattle live. Massai have a long and painful tradition of circumcision. Before the circumcision ritual held at dawn the children wear blue dress and are shaved in front of the 'Boma' their traditional village. They circumcise both male and female cihildren at the age of 14. Circumcision of men is relatively safe, with low percentage of lethal infections and it reduces the infection of kidneys. However the female circumcision is completely useless and extremely painful procedure with harmful complications. The idea is to reduce the sexual needs of women because it's believed that the women are promiscuous. The operation is performed by old women inside the 'Boma', traditional house and without any anesthetics or sterile instruments, only a razor blade. After, the female child becomes a woman and she can get married, otherwise she's considered a prostitute. On the other side male children aren't allowed to cry during their circumcision otherwise they could be expelled from the village forever.
  • NGORONGORO AND SERENGETI AREA, TANZANIA - NOVEMBER 2004: A night before the circumcision takes place older boys, just recently circumcised, put those waiting to be circumcised in a circle and bully them for an hour. The Point of this ritual is to make boys angry and defiant so they won't be crying while circumcised. Massai have a long and painful tradition of circumcision. Before the circumcision ritual held at dawn the children wear blue dress and are shaved in front of the 'Boma' their traditional village. They circumcise both male and female cihildren at the age of 14. Circumcision of men is relatively safe, with low percentage of lethal infections and it reduces the infection of kidneys. However the female circumcision is completely useless and extremely painful procedure with harmful complications. The idea is to reduce the sexual needs of women because it's believed that the women are promiscuous. The operation is performed by old women inside the 'Boma', traditional house and without any anesthetics or sterile instruments, only a razor blade. After, the female child becomes a woman and she can get married, otherwise she's considered a prostitute. On the other side male children aren't allowed to cry during their circumcision otherwise they could be expelled from the village forever.
  • NGORONGORO AND SERENGETI AREA, TANZANIA - NOVEMBER 2004: Ritual shaving of the head takes place in front of their houses. Massai have a long and painful tradition of circumcision. Before the circumcision ritual held at dawn the children wear blue dress and are shaved in front of the 'Boma' their traditional village. They circumcise both male and female cihildren at the age of 14. Circumcision of men is relatively safe, with low percentage of lethal infections and it reduces the infection of kidneys. However the female circumcision is completely useless and extremely painful procedure with harmful complications. The idea is to reduce the sexual needs of women because it's believed that the women are promiscuous. The operation is performed by old women inside the 'Boma', traditional house and without any anesthetics or sterile instruments, only a razor blade. After, the female child becomes a woman and she can get married, otherwise she's considered a prostitute. On the other side male children aren't allowed to cry during their circumcision otherwise they could be expelled from the village forever.
  • NGORONGORO AND SERENGETI AREA, TANZANIA - NOVEMBER 2004: Just before circumcision boys are washed with cold water. Boys are circumcised in front of the 'Boma' and girls inside the hut. Massai have a long and painful tradition of circumcision. Before the circumcision ritual held at dawn the children wear blue dress and are shaved in front of the 'Boma' their traditional village. They circumcise both male and female cihildren at the age of 14. Circumcision of men is relatively safe, with low percentage of lethal infections and it reduces the infection of kidneys. However the female circumcision is completely useless and extremely painful procedure with harmful complications. The idea is to reduce the sexual needs of women because it's believed that the women are promiscuous. The operation is performed by old women inside the 'Boma', traditional house and without any anesthetics or sterile instruments, only a razor blade. After, the female child becomes a woman and she can get married, otherwise she's considered a prostitute. On the other side male children aren't allowed to cry during their circumcision otherwise they could be expelled from the village forever.
  • NGORONGORO AND SERENGETI AREA, TANZANIA - NOVEMBER 2004: The whole community gathers to watch the ritual at dawn. Massai have a long and painful tradition of circumcision. Before the circumcision ritual held at dawn the children wear blue dress and are shaved in front of the 'Boma' their traditional village. They circumcise both male and female cihildren at the age of 14. Circumcision of men is relatively safe, with low percentage of lethal infections and it reduces the infection of kidneys. However the female circumcision is completely useless and extremely painful procedure with harmful complications. The idea is to reduce the sexual needs of women because it's believed that the women are promiscuous. The operation is performed by old women inside the 'Boma', traditional house and without any anesthetics or sterile instruments, only a razor blade. After, the female child becomes a woman and she can get married, otherwise she's considered a prostitute. On the other side male children aren't allowed to cry during their circumcision otherwise they could be expelled from the village forever.
  • NGORONGORO AND SERENGETI AREA, TANZANIA - NOVEMBER 2004: When the ritual is finished Morans and their mothers perform a ritual dance to celebrate the initiation. Massai have a long and painful tradition of circumcision. Before the circumcision ritual held at dawn the children wear blue dress and are shaved in front of the 'Boma' their traditional village. They circumcise both male and female cihildren at the age of 14. Circumcision of men is relatively safe, with low percentage of lethal infections and it reduces the infection of kidneys. However the female circumcision is completely useless and extremely painful procedure with harmful complications. The idea is to reduce the sexual needs of women because it's believed that the women are promiscuous. The operation is performed by old women inside the 'Boma', traditional house and without any anesthetics or sterile instruments, only a razor blade. After, the female child becomes a woman and she can get married, otherwise she's considered a prostitute. On the other side male children aren't allowed to cry during their circumcision otherwise they could be expelled from the village forever.
  • NGORONGORO AND SERENGETI AREA, TANZANIA - NOVEMBER 2004: After the circumcision girls are kept inside the house for the rest of the day. Massai have a long and painful tradition of circumcision. Before the circumcision ritual held at dawn the children wear blue dress and are shaved in front of the 'Boma' their traditional village. They circumcise both male and female cihildren at the age of 14. Circumcision of men is relatively safe, with low percentage of lethal infections and it reduces the infection of kidneys. However the female circumcision is completely useless and extremely painful procedure with harmful complications. The idea is to reduce the sexual needs of women because it's believed that the women are promiscuous. The operation is performed by old women inside the 'Boma', traditional house and without any anesthetics or sterile instruments, only a razor blade. After, the female child becomes a woman and she can get married, otherwise she's considered a prostitute. On the other side male children aren't allowed to cry during their circumcision otherwise they could be expelled from the village forever.
  • NGORONGORO AND SERENGETI AREA, TANZANIA - NOVEMBER 2004: Later in the evening the girl is taken out of the house to be shown to the neighbours. That way they show that the surgery was successful. In the background is the girl's future husband. Girls are married immediately after the circumcision, after the 'healing period'. Marriage is prearranged by the girls family. Massai have a long and painful tradition of circumcision. Before the circumcision ritual held at dawn the children wear blue dress and are shaved in front of the 'Boma' their traditional village. They circumcise both male and female cihildren at the age of 14. Circumcision of men is relatively safe, with low percentage of lethal infections and it reduces the infection of kidneys. However the female circumcision is completely useless and extremely painful procedure with harmful complications. The idea is to reduce the sexual needs of women because it's believed that the women are promiscuous. The operation is performed by old women inside the 'Boma', traditional house and without any anesthetics or sterile instruments, only a razor blade. After, the female child becomes a woman and she can get married, otherwise she's considered a prostitute. On the other side male children aren't allowed to cry during their circumcision otherwise they could be expelled from the village forever.
  • NGORONGORO AND SERENGETI AREA, TANZANIA - NOVEMBER 2004: Two boys stand outside their home. Massai have a long and painful tradition of circumcision. Before the circumcision ritual held at dawn the children wear blue dress and are shaved in front of the 'Boma' their traditional village. They circumcise both male and female cihildren at the age of 14. Circumcision of men is relatively safe, with low percentage of lethal infections and it reduces the infection of kidneys. However the female circumcision is completely useless and extremely painful procedure with harmful complications. The idea is to reduce the sexual needs of women because it's believed that the women are promiscuous. The operation is performed by old women inside the 'Boma', traditional house and without any anesthetics or sterile instruments, only a razor blade. After, the female child becomes a woman and she can get married, otherwise she's considered a prostitute. On the other side male children aren't allowed to cry during their circumcision otherwise they could be expelled from the village forever.
  • NGORONGORO AND SERENGETI AREA, TANZANIA - NOVEMBER 2004: After the ritual girls become women and get married, boys become Morans, the soldiers. This period coincides with adolesency and they live apart from their families together with boys of their age. They take care of the cattle and in case of conflicts with other tribes they would fight them. Massai have a long and painful tradition of circumcision. Before the circumcision ritual held at dawn the children wear blue dress and are shaved in front of the 'Boma' their traditional village. They circumcise both male and female cihildren at the age of 14. Circumcision of men is relatively safe, with low percentage of lethal infections and it reduces the infection of kidneys. However the female circumcision is completely useless and extremely painful procedure with harmful complications. The idea is to reduce the sexual needs of women because it's believed that the women are promiscuous. The operation is performed by old women inside the 'Boma', traditional house and without any anesthetics or sterile instruments, only a razor blade. After, the female child becomes a woman and she can get married, otherwise she's considered a prostitute. On the other side male children aren't allowed to cry during their circumcision otherwise they could be expelled from the village forever.

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