Circumcision: who invented it?

Discussion in 'Ancient History and Mythology' started by iBrian, Oct 20, 2004.

  1. MagnetMan

    MagnetMan What is enlightenment?

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    I did mention that there is a reason for my belief, not merely speculation. It has always been amazing to me that we generally assume that both the Stone Age and Bronze Age are long dead, and that only mute archeological evidence can tell us that we even existed then - when there are isolated groups around the world still living and practicing many of those ancient customs. My information comes from personally witnessing a Masia lion hunt in Tanganyika in the middle of last century and speaking to the elders about the origins of the initiation lodge. I also lived among the amaXhosa who still keep the practice going to this day. Stone Age Hunter/gatherer family groups and Bronze Age agricultural clan groups all practiced timeless social and spiritual disciplines that are dictated by the exigencies of basic survival imperatives. Significant mass chnage only comes about when exponential population pressures force our species into more complex occupational contracts. Therefore what we see in action today amongst reasonably uncontaminated groups, is almost identical to what it was like a ten thousand - and like the San Bushman of the Kalahari - even a million years ago. So the lives and practices of our most ancient ancestors are still very much alive. If I ruled over state education, I would insist that every child spend a year in Africa, before the past disappears forever. I was lucky to be borm and raised there.
     
  2. suanni

    suanni Confused

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    I recently watched a programme on TV about this subject a little while ago and it seems that the foreskin actually helps in producing an airtight seal during copulation, plus the additional lubrication. So it does have a purpose. Seems circumcision regardless of religious dictates is big business in the States too. By religious dictates I mean that the religion states that it must be done.

    I wonder if it could have commenced as a way of identifying one tribe with another. There are so many methods of marking a body...mostly mutilation of some degree... to make it identifiable, tattoo, piercings etc. Of course what we are also forgetting that females in some cultures are also circumcised.
     
  3. Pathless

    Pathless Fiercely Interdependent

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    From what I understand of female circumcision, it is more like genital mutilation. The clitoris is actually cut off. Some say that this is so that the woman will never experience pleasure from sex, which will thereby keep her "faithful" to her future husband. If this type of "circumcision" were practiced on males, it would equate to the entire head of the penis being cut off.

    I also wonder if male circumcision, even as it is widely practiced, is not a form of genital mutilation as well--less so of course than the female circumcision described above. I wonder if we are so accustomed to it that we simply don't recognize it for what it is--a form of mutilation. After all, many people consider other "tribal" body markings, such as tattoos and piercings, as mutilation. If someone were to cut off the tip of their nose, it would be considered mutilation. Why should the penis be treated any differently? :confused: :eek:

    It boggles the mind--or at least mine. ;)
     
  4. MagnetMan

    MagnetMan What is enlightenment?

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    Which takes us back to my Bronze Age response to your original question. By concentrating on the penis, it made it a purely male rite of manhood. Females had their own initiation rites, including clitoral circumcision. I believe that by enduring the pain of birth, female's are Naturally initiated into an evocation of personal courage and do not need to endure the artificial trials that men need in order to evoke that Divine attribute
     
  5. Awaiting_the_fifth

    Awaiting_the_fifth Where is my mind?

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    Here in the UK where the practice is much less common I think a lot of us do consider it to be a form of mutilation. I personally have a hard time understanding any religious reasons for circumcision. Where there is no religious reason I find it incomprehensible.

    I think I probably saw the same program as Suanni and I was shocked to discover that something like 80% of American babies are circumcised immediately after birth, the parents often not knowing why it is done.

    To an outside observer this does indeed seem like simple mutilation.
     
  6. suanni

    suanni Confused

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    Female circumcision is performed in many different ways, from the symbolic to what appears to be nothing more than mutiliation! Also a religious rite too.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Female_circumcision
     

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