Rites of passage usually symbolize an important change of status in society, and are thus regarded as important and cherished traditions. And Native American rites of passage, specifically, are generally vibrant, colorful, and joyous affairs rich with sentimentality and merrymaking. However, there's always the odd and perhaps inevitable bloodcurdling exception. A handful of tribes are notorious for implementing harsh tests that men and women must pass. And while many of these rituals unlike a lot of their ultra-violent overseas counterparts have long since been relegated to the distant past, that doesn't make their legacy any less intense.
Most of the following ancient practices will make jumping into a pit of tarantulas seem almost mild by comparison. Read on for a list of initiation rituals that are enough to make anyone think twice about the benefits of growing up.
The Mawé Tribe Initiation Involves Being Devoured By AntsPhoto: Hans Hillewaert / Wikimedia Commons
In The Mandan Tribe, You Were Suspended By Hooks (And Had Your Fingers Chopped Off)
Algonquin Indian Boys Were Caged And Force-Fed HallucinogensPhoto: Unknown / Wikimedia Commons
Aztec Boys Had To Capture And Sacrifice Multiple Hostages Before They Could Become Men
In The Nootka Tribe, You Were Hurled Into The Sea (While Menstruating) And Had To Swim BackPhoto: Unknown / Wikimedia Commons