Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964623 | Print ISBN: 9781412936361 | Online ISBN: 9781412964623| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Katherine Olukemi Bankole
The practice of cutting away, altering, or removing some or part of the genitals in both men and women is generally referred to as excision or circumcision (male) or clitorectomy (female). This was a prehistoric practice found globally and in all religions, including Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and within the spiritual traditions of indigenous peoples. This practice is found on the continent of Africa as far back as ancient Egypt (Kemet) as a social, religious, and cultural custom practiced on females. More recently, opposition to the clitorectomy has developed. This entry focuses on the tradition of clitorectomy, its social meanings, and the recent controversy. As a powerful cosmological-spiritual force, the scholar Cheikh Anta Diop demonstrated the link of the practice to that of ancient Egypt (Kmt) and the remainder of Africa. African Gods directed the rite of circumcision. For example, among the Yoruba in Nigeria, the God most associated with circumcision ...