Middle Age and Old Age

Fifty years of age is considered an important milestone among the Glebo, although it is not marked by a public celebration of any kind. At 50, a man or woman is considered "fully grown" and to have the wisdom and experience to advise others. Before this age, adults will continue to describe themselves as "small girls and small boys," particularly in relation to their older kin and teachers. "If the man who was my teacher is still alive, how can I consider myself his equal?" asked a 45-year-old Glebo Episcopal priest, commenting on the relative nature of who could be described as "old" or even adult. Adults who achieve and pass the age of 50 are honored at death with a "war dance" (doklo for men and nana for women), performed by all adult members of their gender in their own and related communities. Dances formerly existed to commemorate the deaths of younger adults; boya for a woman who died in her childbearing years and kobo ta woda for a young man (also performed for men leaving on periods of labor migration, in case they died while away), but these have rarely been performed since the 1970s. The most important rite of passage celebrated for any Glebo individual is that which marks the transition to the afterlife and the status of ancestor. Funerals are the largest, most expensive, and most elaborate ceremonies the Glebo practice.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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