Exploration of Changes in the Initiation Culture

Conversations with city officials and a traditional surgeon have led to the understanding that there have been many changes in South African culture over time—births have changed, marriages have changed, but many abantu who practice initiation are determined that the ritual shall not change.  Nonetheless, the initiation culture is not the same. These changes have occurred fairly recently following another trend: the migration of people from the rural Eastern Cape to the urban Western Cape due the availability of employment, education, and services.  With this rapid influx of immigrants to urban areas, the initiation ritual has faced many challenges including limited physical space, conservation of ritual observances, a lack of income to pay for elements of the ritual, and the safety of the initiates.  In an effort to address the lack of space and unhygienic conditions, the authorities began to formalize initiation sites in the Western Cape, one being the Good Hope College Initiation Site that the team has proposed.

There have been several major changes in the Initiation Culture. Notable changes have been observed in: