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Your right to a rite (of passage)  Coming of Age Ceremonies from around the world

This hotlist has been created by Ann Salt for use with seventh graders.  Last updated April 20, 2002.


East Asia  Australia   Mexico   North America   South America   Africa   General

Ceremonial rites of passage have been important to the social health of human societies for thousands of years, enabling individuals to negotiate their transitions with purpose and meaning, discovering gifts to be brought back for the whole community. Without them, people have no way to mark and celebrate their life-changes, unable to complete the old or begin the new.  --from the Summerfield Rites of Passage website at:

Information on this website can be obtained by contacting Ann Salt at:  anns@mail.ifls.lib.wi.usBengal ceremony image


           Japanese temple image       East Asian          Back to top

  Brief information about ceremony for 20 year olds in Japan.

  Narrative description of event.  No pictures.

   Excellent information and drawings about Japanese ceremony.

 age2.htm  Article about unruly event.  1 picture.

    Comprehensive information.  1 picture.  Brief, chronological information with pictures.  "Turning 16" ceremonies described (mid page); pictures included.
 Church ceremony (including Aboriginal students)  described briefly.

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          Australian waterfall image   Australian:    Back to top Excellent information and drawings.  No pictures.  Brief, clear information on many rites of passage.  Pictures.

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          Mexican sunrise image        Mexican  Back to top  Five interviews with participants.  No pictures.

  Good information.  No pictures.

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         North American lighthouse image      North American  Back to top  News story with several photographs.  Intriguing!
  Comprehensive site with excellent photos..
 01apache_ceremony.html  Great site!

   Brief, excellent information.

  Detailed explanation of the Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, including ritual objects.  Brief news article about ceremony for young women with one photograph.

   Puberty rites of several nations.         Video footage of ceremonial events.  Requires Real Player.

    Drawings, recipes.  Very understandable.  No pictures.  Limited information on ceremony for Nez Perce.  Excellent site but no pictures.
  Multi-faceted coming of age program in Washington.

  Vision quest for teenagers in California.  Narrative from witness of a coming-of-age ceremony of a young girl.

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           Amazon river image      South American  Back to top  Coming of age in an Amazon tribe with drawings.  No pictures.

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           African horizon image           African  Back to top  Excellent section on the Nkanu initiation rites.  Many pictures.  Photo and brief article about Kentani tribe.
  Excellent information, drawings.  NOTE:  Describes clitoredectomy.

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            Daffodil image      General Information for adults  Back to top
  Essays on African American ceremonies.  Educational activities and photos.
  Information on body painting as spiritual act.
  Mask project related to coming-of-age for teachers.
  Worldwide links to sacred traditions.
  Coming of age in various cultures.  Jewish educational site.
  Thoughts on puberty & rites of passage from Pagan priestess.

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