Though scarification is a common rite of passage around the world, it is practiced heavily by Sepik River tribes in Papua New Guinea as part of an initiation ceremony for men. This is only a small part of a ceremony that lasts weeks and includes public humiliation, but it’s ridiculously painful. The elders of the tribe use razor blades to cut the young men all over their bodies in a pattern that closely imitates the rough skin of an alligator. They believe that the alligator will then consume any semblance of a boy left in their bodies, and they will become men.
Rite of Passage Journeys, established in 1968, fosters self-discovery, community and connection with the natural world. Our mission is to mentor youth, adults, and elders through life transitions, initiating soulful leaders for the next generation. This not-for-profit organization provides intentional rites of passage experiences and rite of passage education. Our experiences take the form of guided wilderness retreats and adventures, while our education consists of consultation and training for schools, organizations, churches and individual leaders. We offer a variety of programs designed for children, teens, and adults. Journeys is admired nationwide for its solid integrity and commitment to soul-work that honors deep human values and the earth. The qualities our programs nurture enable us to more fully embrace the challenges and beauty of our collective experiences as well as our unique individual calling.