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Satere-Mawe Bullet Ant Glove

A Male Rite of Passage in Brazil
by

Jaclyn Merica

on 29 November 2012

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Transcript of Satere-Mawe Bullet Ant Glove

A Rite of Passage of one Brazilian tribe Satere- Mawe Bullet Ant Glove Country of Origin Brazilian Rainforest
Practiced among the Satere-Mawe tribe
The ritual initiates a man into warriorhood.
It is only practiced by men.
The ritual tests an initiate's endurance, stoicism, and ability to handle pain, traits that are pertinent for any warrior to attain. Purpose of Rite Thousands of ants are sedated and then woven into a glove made out of leaves and sticks. The ants are placed with their stingers facing the inside of the glove to ensure each ant will sting the initiate fully. Once the ants regain consciousness, the initiate submerges his hand into the gloves for 10 minutes. The bullet ant is considered the most painful sting in the ant world, and the initiate's hands are paralyzed temporarily. The initiate has to repeat this ritual twenty times before he is considered a man. The Initiation The pain the initiates must endure during the ritual is symbolic of the pain they will endure while serving as a warrior. Public Criticism/Disapproval Anthropologists disapprove of the self inflicted pain the initiated subject themselves to during the ritual.
The bullet ant's bite is extremely painful, and some question the actual legitimacy of the test.
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