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
Rites of Passage
According to African religion, as one journeys through life, carrying out a particular destiny and asserting one's humanity, one should become more complete and perfect. This perfection, in turn, allows a person to become an ancestor, which is the ultimate purpose of life. Through rites of passage, set up by the community, people undergo a series of transformative processes that will assist them in their development as human beings. Rites of passage have played a major role in African communities for hundreds of years. They are well-thought-out and effective programs designed to allow people to move with little stress to the next phase of their existence. It is also important to remember that Africans only exist in community and that any personal development necessarily takes place within a collective space, rather than being an individual affair. Indeed, the expected and desired outcome is that the community will be enhanced as ...