History Of Circumcision In Kuria

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Identity formation and preservation for the Kuria is directly and explicitly tied to circumcision, as it marks the transition into adulthood and Kuria society. This is most evident in the manner that the Kuria have sought to maintain their circumcision rituals, as a way to combat the erosion of cultural and political autonomy in this neoliberal age. As noted by Matiinde Rosa’s circumcision experience, she felt that the initiation provided her a foothold into the Kuria identity, despite having grown up outside the limits of Kuria society (134). Furthermore, fairly recent developments into the medicalization of circumcision paved the way for those privileged Kuria the room to test/push cultural boundaries, and thus, develop a stratified Kuria complex that only contributes to the mixed-notions of female circumcision within the community (137). Although the medicalization practice has been accepted among male circumcision, the Kuria have not been able to fully accept the medicalization of female circumcision without stigma attached. Visiting the clinic instead of going through the traditional approach is seen the same as crying or showing emotion during circumcision. It is a medium that distances the council of elders from practicing their mandate as the protectors and overseers of ritual. One of the most explicit examples of the weight that circumcision has on Kuria culture is the derogatory use of the word omosaagane which refers to an uncircumcised female who is not part of a larger social/political unit, having no positive status. An example of this is the way Leah Mokami’s family pressured her to undergo initiation in order to avoid a lifetime of ridicule as an omosaagane, which was noted as being a name that follows a girl lik... ... middle of paper ... ...arded as being just that, the practice of circumcision is the only means an individual has at obtaining a respect and acceptance into their community. Defiance of the practice may/will result in: a lack of economic opportunity, marriage opportunity, ethnic rights, and explicit discrimination. In the end, the author’s journey throughout the book is to grant the authentic voices in the discourse of FGC validity. In shows the multiple perspectives in the debate, one can find a common ground to accept FGC as a ritual that grants the Kuria vitality in the face of an ever developing world that refuses to accept the Kuria on their own terms. And that may be the most important point to the book, the battle of cultural autonomy is not new, but instead a legacy of european intervention that has imposed its norms and values on a culture, that continues to fight to this day.

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