the society s concept of the rite of passage


Rites of Passage

Rites of passage were first described by anthropologist Arnold van Gennep (1960) as a way of accepting the countless rituals and rites noticed in conventional ethnicities, and their significance to the characteristics of both individual and group existence within the lifestyle. He determined sets of habitual behavior that followed changes of place, express, social location and age group. This included common life events just like childbirth, puberty, marriage and death (Lundberg, 2016). A rite of passage could be further broken into three periods, these phases include the pre-liminal stage which can be related to separating from a great initiate’s prior life, the liminal stage where the initiates are separated from the culture and have to endure various rituals, before they reach the post-liminal level which is associated with their fresh status or state of life (Lundberg, 2016). This kind of essay can focus on the aspect of social position in Van Gennep’s definition, since rites of passage are crucial to transform a great ‘outsider’ in to an ‘insider’ (Raybeck, 1996), and analyzes rites of passage and studies examples of the rites of verse of the ethnographer, Douglas Raybeck, and of the women in Kelantanese culture.

Idea of rites of passage

In the pre-liminal phase, you will discover symbolic manners to indicate an individual’s detachment off their current sociable structure and their previous social status (Froggatt, 1997). This might include a change of outfit, a change in geological place, or habit cleansing. The liminal stage is a mediating transitional stage between the initial status plus the new status achieved at the end of the routine (Kunin, 2002, p. 208). It is a tolerance or border as well as a ‘space’ in its own particular proper, as time and place where people dealing with the rite are cut off from the broader structure of society, and placed in quick, negligible positions. It is often identified as an ambiguous state while the individual is no longer in his or her previous state nor is he in the fresh state, and as Leach implies: “it turns into temporarily an abnormal person existing in abnormal time” (1976, s. 77, since cited in Froggatt 1997). It is often an interval in which the initiates are trained those things that will be needed to function in the new social placement. Finally, it is during the post-liminal phase the individual results to his or her social configurations, and attains new privileges and responsibilities. The practice concludes while using individual performing some ritualistic act that reflects his or her new status, thus demonstrating the community they are ready to take hold of their new position and the responsibilities that are included in it. A commonality in all of the phases is the fact transformation is known as a key element in shaping the consumer as they proceed through these rituals of passing.

An average example to show the concept of a “rites of passage can be described as Jewish wedding party. Firstly, in a Jewish wedding ceremony it is traditional for the bride and groom to be separated pertaining to the week before their wedding. There are many rituals such as reading in the Torah and going through a ritualistic bathroom that should be made by the bridegroom and bride during the week. Therefore , these would be the pre-liminal phase inside the rites of passage. Additionally , the liminal phase takes place during the marriage ceremony when equally groom and bride’s status changes by single to married. Finally, the post-liminal phase is usually when the groom and bride-to-be are incorporated into contemporary society with new identities like a married couple.

Rituals of Passageway: Douglas Raybeck’s fieldwork in Kelantan

At the start of Raybeck’s fieldwork in Kelatan, although this individual did minimal preparation such as learning the chinese language and lifestyle in the wish of understanding the new tradition prior to the real fieldwork, they will proved to be of little support as Raybeck and his better half, Karen still experienced multiple culture surprise during their preliminary weeks (Raybeck, 1996, l. 21). Following much deliberation, they chosen to stay in the village of Wakaf Bahru where most of his fieldwork was conducted. As he has not been part of the people, the villagers generally looked at Raybeck through hostile lenses and treated him since an outsider. This pictured the pre-liminal phase in which he left his initial contemporary society and ove in to a new culture.

The liminal phase started when Raybeck participated in the village protect duty, “jaga”, which allowed him to gradually integrate into the society. Through this new role, Rayback started to accumulate information and he thought he had accessed the inner workings of the village. However , he found that everyone was giving him the same information, an image of town life as the villagers wanted him to see (Raybeck, 1996). Raybeck (1996) observed: “I realized that I was still not sufficiently trusted to get made aware of the sensitive and sometimes less-than-ideal social lifestyle of the village” (pp. 63-64). This situation wherever Raybeck changed the villagers’ views of him however did not gain enough of their trust to speak about the internal affairs of the small town, perfectly displayed the process within the liminal period, the individual can be nether in his initial position nor his new position.

However , after getting in the patrol team for a while, Raybeck created close friendships with the various other males, especially Mat and Yusof. Yusof conveyed friendliness by began holding hands with Raybeck. This action symbolized heat and improved friendship between the two (Raybeck, 1996, l. 65). Raybeck was likewise brought to a bar by Yusof and Mat for the drink that was against their religion. The act implied that Pad and Yusof had trust in Raybeck as they had shared their particular misdoings (Raybeck, 1996, s. 67). Therefore, Raybeck could query about village concerns which were initially kept from charlie and hence, he could use these types of insiders’ knowledge to get more data from other villagers. Knowing that Raybeck did not reveal or exploit the knowledge that was given to him, the villagers started to trust him and had been more ready to share sensitive information with him. In addition , he and Karen implemented Malay titles and put on the Kelantanese Malay classic costumes to assimilate better into the culture. He had also given up alcohol and chicken consumption inside the village when it was deemed like a sin in Islam. Through his attempts to learn proper societal actions and participating in village events, Raybeck experienced completed his post-liminal phase by transforming himself by a foreigner into a fellow villager, an outsider to an insider. This was a great change pertaining to Raybeck, Lundberg (2016) stated that all main periods of life transform involve rituals. Therefore , it provides people from your Kelantanese lifestyle.

Rites of passage: Kelantanese woman

The women in Kelantanese traditions also underwent a rite of passage as they changed from teenagers to adults. In the pre-liminal phase, which begins within their youth, Kelantanese women are removed from the field of man and are expected to stay home to assist with household actions and to learn skills required to contribute to the world. Therefore , all their involvement in village issues is uncommon as they were preoccupied with their household tasks and preparation for married life (Raybeck, mil novecentos e noventa e seis, p. 181).

As the women grow older, get married and provide birth, their particular participation in economic and social existence increases is when the liminal phase starts as they begin to learn more norms and go through rituals including child birth plus the gathering of information through sociable interactions. For instance , Kelantanese middle-aged mothers have control over family finances and intricate network of links through their trips to the market, which usually holds considerable information of current affairs in the village (Raybeck, 1996, p. 181). The information further more empowers the ladies to make crucial decisions and be more powerfulk in town issues, thus becoming more self-employed and completing their transformation.

Finally, in the post-liminal phase, the Kelantanese women are able to gain higher social status and therefore are eligible to engage in village affairs by dealing with the symbolic nature of marital position, age and childbirth. And, they are viewed as full people of the society and have an equal or occasionally more powerful words than the guys, as they got the knowledge of current affairs within the village and the understanding of the aspect of town behaviour because of their preparation in the last stages.


The examples of Raybeck’s fieldwork in Kelantan and Kelantan could transition through life very well illustrated the concept of rites of passage. Both examples consist of similar buildings the process of separation, transition and reincorporation. Additionally, there are different types of emblematic rituals linked to both good examples, such as jaga, names, attires, age, matrimony and giving birth. In conclusion, rites of passage are an important part of every culture and so they have relevance in how they help an individual to find their individuality and purpose in the society. In addition , an planned rite of passage supplies the space pertaining to the contemporary society to convey its core values and scholarhip the part obligations suitable to the initiate’s stage of life, thus assuring ethnical endurance.

  • Category: Research
  • Words: 1553
  • Pages: 6
  • Project Type: Essay

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