Van Gennep's "Rites Of Passage", Durkheim And Turner's Theory Of Communitas

I. Classify using Van Gennep's categories and point out aspects which would be
of particular interest to Turner and to Chapple and Coons.
The Mescalero girls' puberty ceremony is an example of a "Rite of
Passage," a ceremony that marks the transition of an individual from one stage
of life to another (Chapple and Coons, p. 484). The ceremony marks the
transition from girl to "mother of a nation" (p.252). The ritual serves as a
means of establishing equilibrium after the crisis of puberty (Chapple and Coons,
p. 484). It is a method of making this transition from girl to woman easier.
I classified this ceremony as a Rite of Passage, rather than a Rite of
Intensification, because it is ...

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ceremony, separation is
achieved when the girls move in to their camp homes. During this stage, the
Godmothers and Singers take the role of the parents. This may be described as
a "cessation of interaction between the individual and the group in which he or
she has been interacting" (Chapple and Coons, p. 485). However, there is not a
complete separation from the girls and the community. There are instances (such
as the time when the participants sleep while the community holds contests)
when the two are physically separated, but they are near their families and
friends during most of the ceremony.

The stage of transition, or liminality, is a period in which the
participants lie "betwixt and between" two poles (Turner, p.95). For the
puberty ceremony, this period lasts for four days. In these days, the girls
receive instruction from their elders-especially from Godmothers and the
Singers. For example, the Singer teaches the tribe's history through his chants
and the ...

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in their reincorporation into their communities as new individuals. The ceremony
began with the males constructing a lodge and ended with the girls destroying
the lodge. In the beginning, the girls gave blessings and in the end, they
received blessings. Through participating in the ordeal of the dance, the girls
gain power. This change is expressed in the following chant: "Now you are
entering the world. You become an adult with responsibilities" (p. 252).
Symbolically, the passage to womanhood is represented by painting the girls'
faces white-the color of purity and Mother Earth.

II. Where do Durkheim and Turner find communitas? What creates feelings of

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Van Gennep's "Rites Of Passage", Durkheim And Turner's Theory Of Communitas. (2004, April 19). Retrieved March 18, 2019, from
"Van Gennep's "Rites Of Passage", Durkheim And Turner's Theory Of Communitas.", 19 Apr. 2004. Web. 18 Mar. 2019. <>
"Van Gennep's "Rites Of Passage", Durkheim And Turner's Theory Of Communitas." April 19, 2004. Accessed March 18, 2019.
"Van Gennep's "Rites Of Passage", Durkheim And Turner's Theory Of Communitas." April 19, 2004. Accessed March 18, 2019.
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Added: 4/19/2004 04:50:10 PM
Category: English
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 2117
Pages: 8

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