Puberty and Adolescence

For girls, socialization continues gradually up to first menarche. Because preadolescent girls (nembataakwa) are in the company of older female relatives throughout the normal course of the day, continually assisting their mothers and other women in gender-related tasks, they receive instruction on a continuous basis. Preadolescent and adolescent boys, on the other hand, spend much time in the company of their age-mates (naawi) and undergoing the various grades of the secondly stage of initiation ceremonies, collectively called Ngwalndu (ancestral spirits). In Neligum Village, there are two grades of Ngwalndu, the abbreviated names for which are Lu (wooden carvings) and Puti ("discard" skin/be reborn). At the climax of the Lu ceremony, initiates are ushered into a chamber lined with Lu carvings in the center of the men's house. The culmination of the Puti ceremony involves the viewing of a very large seated figure. Both the Lu carvings and the Puti figure are representative of ancestral spirits. During the seclusion period for these rituals, which also involve various sorts of hazing, novices are instructed in and exhorted to think about men's activities like growing yams, engaging in ritual activity, obtaining pigs, etc.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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