EnglishShow more Special senses of general English circumcision the act or rite of circumcising.
According to traditional custom among some African peoples:
1.The period of isolation and initiation, during which circumcision is also performed, after which the status of manhood is conferred upon initiates. Often attributive.See also abakwetha sense 2, boguera.
[1803J.T. Van der Kemp inTrans. of Missionary Soc.I. 439Circumcision is performed on boys of about twelve or fourteen years old, and is accompanied with ceremonies, which seem to be emblems of a total renewal of the person. After he is painted white all over the body, he is driven into a river, and there washed clean; his old garments, &c. are thrown away, and new ones given him.]
circumcision school, an institution in which initiates are isolated, taught, and circumcised according to custom; the group of young men undergoing this instruction; initiation school. See also to go to the bush (bushnoun1 sense 4).
1949C. BullockRina 117They came out in scores, stark naked and painted a ghastly white...‘What are they?’ I asked...‘A circumcision school, our carriers say...They are WaRemba and have the right to kill us according to their ideas.’
1952H. KleinLand of Silver Mist 47From the hills opposite the store, there came the dirge of tribal song and smoke rose from a lonely hut. ‘Sutu lodge,’ Land explained. ‘There’s a circumcision school up there.’
1965E. MphahleleDown Second Ave 16Often, if a Christian chanced to meet a circumcision school, the initiates gave chase and beat him up, swearing at him and all his ancestry in the process.
1972Drum 8 Apr. 4I passed my standard six in 1966...Now I’ve just come from my circumcision school...will they admit me back into the high school?
1982Drum July 20The civil servant..asked for protection, saying he was been dragged off to the circumcision school against his will...‘I come from a Christian family. We’re totally opposed to circumcision schools.’
1986P. MaylamHist. of Afr. People 29Dingiswayo is said to have abolished the circumcision schools and developed the age-regiments, while Shaka is thought to have introduced full-time military service.
1988M. Saliso inE. Prov. Herald 13 Feb. 3He had been fetched from his customary circumcision school in the bush by the police to give evidence for the State at the trial.
1989L.S. Baleka inWeekend Post 23 Dec. 4Our younger brothers and sons will have little respect for their own circumcision schools as they will know in advance what to expect. African men keep what happens at the school strictly secret.
1993S. Dikeni inHouse & Leisure Nov. 42We used to walk home from circumcision school in the secret of the night.
Unfortunately you are using a browser that is either outdated or not supported.
To view the content of dsae.co.za with full functionality, please use the latest version of one of the browsers hyperlinked below.