La cérémonie de purification des garçons chez les Lango du centre-nord de l’Ouganda 

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© Musafiri Suwed, 2013

La cérémonie de purification des garçons, pratiquée chez les Lango du centre-nord de l’Ouganda, est un rituel de guérison des garçons supposés avoir perdu leur masculinité. Pendant la cérémonie, la mère et l’enfant restent à la maison pendant trois jours et mangent du porridge de millet sans sucre. L’enfant est traité comme un nouveau-né pendant toute la durée de la cérémonie. Le troisième jour, la mère et l’enfant sortent de la maison et s’assoient à l’entrée, accompagnés d’un cousin paternel. Les cheveux de l’enfant sont coupés et tressés en cordelettes, mélangés à de l’écorce de ficus ramollie et du beurre de karité pour être noués au cou, aux poignets et à la taille de l’enfant. Le reste de cordelettes est roulé en boule et jeté trois fois sur la mère, le cousin et l’enfant. Les trois personnes sont badigeonnées de beurre de karité et se font servir de la purée de pois, du pain de millet et une boisson à base de millet et de levure. Les réjouissances commencent alors avec des hululements, des chants et des danses, confirmant que l’enfant a retrouvé sa masculinité. Cette cérémonie favorise la réconciliation et restaure le statut social de l’enfant. La limitation de la pratique menace sa viabilité. De nombreux détenteurs sont âgés et la pratique est de plus en plus tenue secrète par crainte d’une excommunication.

Community members of Ngamii village in Dokolo District holding a dialogue meeting in preparation of to choose the boy child for the performance the boy child cleansing ceremony.
The boy child supposed to undergo the cleansing ceremony is being held up and presented to the community members before taken into the house to start the mandatory 3 days ceremony.
Community members join in the cultural dance performed shortely after the boy child is taken into the house to undergo the male child cleansing ceremony.
The male child and his mother are brought out of the house covered with a winnower and made to sit in front of the house after the completion of the 3rd day of the ceremony. They are joined by the cousin of the boy's father to perform the last rituals of the cleansing ceremony.
The mother-in-law and the elderly community members take part in the making of rope like strands from the chewed bark of a ficus tree. The soft bark is woven together in a rope like object with the hair of the child and mixed with shear butter oil.
Ropes made out of ficus bark and the child hair is tied by the grandmother on to the child's neck, on the wrist and one with a knot around the waist. The mother of the child has also a rope tied around the neck.
Rope like strands not mixed in shear butter are rolled into a ball like object and five family members are chosen to ask for blessings by throwing the ball to the child, mother and the cousin.
Food is prepared in a traditional way at the end of the ceremony to be served to the three key parties - the male child, the mother and the cousine. Community members too are served.
The male child, the mother and the cousin and smeared with shear butter by the mother-in-law together with the elderly members of the family.
The boy child, the mother and the cousin take part in the preparation of the meal that is after being smeared with shear butter. The meal is served to all but the cousin eats food on the mingling sticks behind the house and then throws the sticks over the house.
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