This research critically analyzes the practice of Female Genital Cutting (FGC) among circumcising groups in Africa and discovers the rite can be classified as a cleansing ritual. Historically FGC is understood as a cultural tradition. Little emphasis has been placed upon uncovering the deeper function of the ritual or on understanding beliefs of members of circumcising cultures.
In this work I draw parallels between commonly accepted cleansing rituals and FGC, uncover the ritual nature of FGC, and find a shared belief among women of circumcising groups that FGC results in improved cleanliness. The exploration of this subject urges the asking of broader questions regarding body modification. Specifically, the research that follows calls much needed attention to the possibility that religious values and beliefs can be manifested on the human form.
|Advisor:||Stewart, David Tabb|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 49/04M, Masters Abstracts International|
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