lesotho, aga szydlik

Initiation Ceremony | Basotho Tribe

lesotho, aga szydlik

Initiation |Lebollo la banna

Initiation or Lebollo la banna is a cultural and traditional practice that the Basotho society follows to construct the manhood identity. It is a  rite of passage in the sense that boys or ‘bashemane’ pass the puberty stage and enter the adulthood stage to become men or ‘monna’. Part of the rite of the rite of passage includes a circumcision, learning sacred songs tribal ceremonies. The initiates are tutored on the knowledge of family life and extensive lessons in sexuality. 

Rites of passage

Traditional initiation schools of the Basotho are conducted over a period of time, (varying from a few weeks to 6 months) in secluded areas away from settlements. The traditional initiation teachers, known as basuwe in Sesotho, are commonly elderly men with substantial economic, political and social standing within Basotho communities. Currently, most of the initiates are between the ages of 12 and 15 with only a few initiated above the age of 15. The boys usually attend the initiation school during the holiday break between primary school and high school.

lesotho, aga szydlik
lesotho, aga szydlik

Metamorphosis

The newly initiated, who are seen as 'men' by the larger traditional society, are still seen as boys by the formal education system which means that the 'manhood status' granted by the ritual is situational.

The initiate practice can be classified into 3 stages: the Separation Stage, the Transitional Stage and the Incorporation Stage. During the Separation Stage, the boys are separated from all social activities and kept in a secluded place where their transition from adolescence into adulthood or from boyhood into manhood takes place.

lesotho, aga szydlik

During the Transitional Stage the initiates are educated on the social concepts of their identities. After the physical circumcision, the boys’ open wound is dressed with a special plant which aids healing. The initiates rise early each day to perform a variety of tasks, and thereafter undergo a harsh physical regimen. Skills, such as warfare and cattle-raiding are taught and improved. Initiates are also taught to compose praises and songs to their chiefs and to themselves, the proper expression or articulation of which constitutes the important adult (male) quality of eloquence or “bokheleke.

lesotho, aga szydlik

Red Orche and Basotho Blankets

After completion of the training period, the initiates leave all their clothing behind in the lodge, which is then set alight by the instructors. The young men then run ahead without looking back at their childhood, which has symbolically ended with the burning of the lodge. The initiates arrive at their villages smeared with red ochre and covered in their traditional Basotho blankets while surrounded by men and elders, where they are given a new set of clothes. 

lesotho, aga szydlik

Links & Sources

Initiation Ceremonies are a sacred tradition and as an outsider and female I was not allowed to ask any questions with respect to the ceremony, all information used is sourced from Wikipedia 

Links
https://www.behance.net/aga_szydlik
https://www.dodho.com/initiation-ceremony-by-aga-szydlik/

 

lesotho, aga szydlik

 


aga szydlik, Borobudur

Borobudur Temple | Sacred travel destinations in Indonesia

 aga szydlik, Borobudur Temple

Indonesia: Borobudur Temple|Sacred destinations

aga szydlik, Borobudur
Borobudur Temple at the sunrise

The Borobudur temple is one of the world’s most complex buildings and its creation is shrouded in a secret without any written records or its purpose bound forever to remain a mystery. From the distance the temple resembles a big lotus flower bud ready to bloom, effortlessly floating on a lake, a single stupa build from volcanic rock, in the form of a giant Buddhist mandala when viewed from above, simultaneously representing the Buddhist cosmology and complex nature of human mind.

 aga szydlik, Borobudur Temple

The Borobudur temple was built around 750 AD by the kings of the Sailendra Dynasty about 400 years before Cambodia's Angkor Wat or European Cathedrals, possibly to enhance the image of Buddhism as Hinduism was growing in strength across the Indonesian archipelago.

aga szydlik, Borobudur

The Borobudur temple structure consists of a series of open-air passageways that radiate around a cosmic axis, and ten mounting terraces corresponding to successive stages and forms Siddhartha assumed, before achieving Buddha-hood.

aga szydlik, Borobudur

Surreal in its existence, seamlessly blending Hinduism, Buddhism, and Sufi-influenced mystical Islam, Borobudur is bound to cast a spell on the visitors and pilgrims. The Buddha statue in an open stupa is oriented to gaze toward the sacred volcanos.

aga szydlik, Borobudur

Over 500 Buddha statues grace the temple with their presence distributed over nine stacked platforms (the number nine is mystic in Buddhism), six square, and three circulars, the top is crowned by a central dome signifying the Nirvana. 

aga szydlik, Borobudur

Around 16th century A.D., the Borobudur temple was left slowly to decay on its own for the reasons unknown. Volcanic eruptions deposited ash in the fertile soil, supporting the rapid growth of lush jungle, slowly engulfing temple in the tight grip of canopies. A poetic cycle of never-ending creation (Brahma), destruction (Shiva), and preservation (Vishnu).

aga szydlik, Borobudur

Moving past the base of the Borobudur Temple through the four galleries, the devotee emerges onto the three upper terraces, encountering 72 stupas, each containing a three-dimensional sculpture of a Buddha enclosed within a stone latticework.

The Borobudur temple represents the ten levels of a Bodhisattva's life which one must develop to become a Buddha or an awakened one.  Devotees start their journey at the base, traversing clockwise along walkways, which gradually ascend to its uppermost level, physical movement symbolizing the non-physical—or spiritual— the path of enlightenment.

aga szydlik, Borobudur

The temple was re-discovered in the 19th century by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, the British governor of Java. Who, after hearing tales about the mystical sanctuary, hidden deep within the island, organized excavation to uncover the temple, bringing Borobudur back into the light and damaging it in the process, as the temple began to deteriorate when exposed to the elements.

aga szydlik, Borobudur

Furthermore, stones were removed and used as building materials by nearby villages and Buddha heads sold to art collections around the world.

Links | Information|Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borobudur
http://factsanddetails.com/indonesia/History_and_Religion/sub6_1a/entry-3941.html
http://www.ancient-origins.net/ancient-places-asia/one-greatest-monuments-world-who-built-it-strange-origins-borobudur-and-lost-021609

If by any chance I have omitted your website as the source of reference, please accept my apologies and please email me, so I'm able to make necessary corrections, after all, I'm just a human........