Songho
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Circumcision Wall Paintings
In the Dogon village of Songho, every three years, the boys are circumcised. The boys are usually around 8-12 in age and so this is an event that they will remember for the rest of their lives. Their proud families trek up the hillside to this wall and paint images that reflect the moment for them. I found the paintings to be beautiful in a very primal way. Of course, neither I nor their proud families are the ones getting snipped so a pretty painting is good enough for us. For the boys, they get a much bigger reward. The first boy to volunteer to get circumcised gets a small herd of animals, the second boy a small field of millet and the third boy gets a virgin girl. Which boy would you be?
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