intonjane, noun

Forms:
Also intonjani, ntonjane.
Origin:
Xhosa
An initiation rite marking the transition from girlhood to young womanhood; the initiated woman. Also attributive. See also boyale. Cf. abakwetha.
1858 J.C. Warner in J. Maclean Compendium of Kafir Laws (1906) 105Intonjane...When the time of her separation has expired, the girl..proceeds..to a..spot..where she..hides under ground the fork with which she has been accustomed to eat her food during..her separation.
1860 W. Shaw Story of my Mission 454The intonjane, when a young girl of a certain age, with various absurd and licentious ceremonies, not to be described here, is declared to be marriageable.
1865 Proceedings of Commission on Native Aff., Cape of G.H. 57What is the reason that the natives — or at least the ‘school people,’ or Christians, have abandoned the intonjani?
1891 T.R. Beattie Ride through Transkei 32Nqwiliso killed seven head of cattle in honour of one of his daughters having gone through the intonjane ceremony.
1896 Cape Argus 2 Jan. 5Seventeen men and twenty-two women were charged before the Magistrate last Friday for taking part in an ‘intonjane dance’ on the farm.
1937 B.J.F. Laubscher Sex, Custom & Psychopathology 143There are two forms of Intonjane ceremonies with a slight variation in the beginning of the rites.
1939 N.J. Van Warmelo in A.M. Duggan-Cronin Bantu Tribes III. i. 33The proper observance of the intonjane was believed to ensure fecundity, and to promote good health and normal delivery in childbirth.
1955 J.B. Shephard Land of Tikoloshe 45She will not hear of school until her time comes to be ‘Intonjane’ — a girl initiate.
1980 J. Cock Maids & Madams 284Other Xhosa customs involving women that the missionaries found offensive were the marriage ceremony..and the initiation ceremony for young girls, the intonjane.
An initiation rite marking the transition from girlhood to young womanhood; the initiated woman. Also attributive. See also boyale.
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18581980