How Girls Were Circumcised among the Ameru

Female circumcision Meru - Rich Allela

Some time ago, we wrote about how female circumcision was started by a guy called Uui of the Aaa Uui laughter fame.

>>> Read about it here.

Now, we will tell you how the culture developed and exactly how girls were circumcised (initiated)… with the assistance and education of our friends the Maasai. It’s going to be as real as possible just so you understand why everyone is against it in the modern days.

It all started with Nkulo (Tattoos).

To prepare the girls for the actual circumcision and up their bravery, they were tattooed (by a man).

And no, it’s not those butterfly and scorpion tattoos y’all girls are getting nowadays. Two rows were cut in both sides of the stomach, starting from each side of the navel to the bottom of the breast. You were not expected to move or cry as this was being done. That’s cowardice.

African stomach tattoos Meru.
Not exactly, but you get the idea Pic: Love To Know

The Actual Circumcision

How Women we circumcised | Female Genital Mutilation
Pic: Rich Allela

Once the tattoos were healed, the girl was now ready for the ceremony of a lifetime, the ceremony that separated the girls from the women. Just like the boy circumcision, it was not a secret ceremony. One would visit relatives and inform them that she was going for the cut, get presents and encouragement to be brave (so as not to embarrass the family).

The cut was quite gruesome. The girl would lie down and not necessarily held down because she was not supposed to move or scream as that was happening. The circumciser (normally an old woman) would cut out the clitoris and remove some inner parts of the vagina.

Why they went for the inner parts of the vagina was because they believed the clitoris would grow back, so they would chase for its roots to the very end. In some cases, they would insert a cone-like object into the vagina to prevent the two lips from coming together when healing.

READ  Uui! How the Meru Started Circumcising Girls

In any case, the girl was supposed to sit or sleep with both legs apart until she had healed.

Then Confinement

After the ceremony, the girl was confined for several weeks, sometimes months. That’s where the real initiation happened because, they said, the pain of circumcision was not enough to instil the values and discipline that was the real essence of the whole experience.

She was not allowed to speak (unless whisper) and there was contact with the outside world apart from old women and small girls.

The lectures started after healing via a small ceremony called Kûwata monki (holding fire).

She was taught that she was made for man and shall always live for man. That it was always the wish of God that the men should always be on top of the women and that men were the natural leaders and should always respect and obey them. She was taught that her body was made for only one man. This was the main lesson.

Other lectures included all general matters of the tribe that were allowed for women and special knowledge on sex, pregnancies and childbirth.

When the mentors were satisfied that she was ready to be a woman, she graduated and went out of the confinement to await marriage.

On the day she left confinement, she was officially recognised as a woman and given a new name.

Image credits: STOP FGM – PUT A SMILE ON A GIRL’S FACE: RICHALLELA.COM

NOTE: We value the Meru culture in it’s entirety and that’s why we take time to tell you all these stories. However, we are against Female Genital Mutilation because of the health risks it poses to girls… and it’s quite baseless in this age.

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