July 2018

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All across the globe and in nearly every culture — births, transitions to adulthood, marital status, and even death are highlighted with some type of ceremony to mark the occasion. Some are celebratory while others may be a little different, even obscure, but if you know Griots Republic, we will find them (and we have). In this month’s edition of Griots Republic, the team has found some very interesting Rites of Passage that are sure to interest, if not shock you.

We first investigate some truly bizarre rites from across the globe, brought to you by frequent contributor Diana O’Gilvie. Diana explores the Vanuatu Land Diving, a dangerous and sometimes deadly ritual done only in the South Pacific. Then there is the rite of circumcision performed by the Mardujara Aborigines. Circumcision may mark the passage of a young man to adulthood in some cultures while for young women, menstruation marks their next steps into womanhood. Frequent contributor Alexis K. Barnes takes us through this journey and how various cultures mark this passage. Moving on, we explore Southern Omo Valley where the passage of a young man to manhood is not complete without participating in the Bull Jumping Ceremony –a practice that is quite dangerous and failure could lead to both injury and shame.

In case you haven’t heard, no one throws a party like the Gambians and Senegambians!! These people are known to celebrate births and weddings for days on end, filled with food and music and we take some time to delve into the birthing and naming ceremonies of the Gambians.

Finally, we provide a list of books that we believe are required reading for young African Americans entering adulthood. These books explore history, culture, relationships, and spirituality and are truly food for the evolving soul.

Now there is certainly more to this edition of Griots Republic.

This month we take you to the island of Assateague. Located right here in North America, Assateague is a beautiful, 37-mile long barrier island located off the eastern coast of the Delmarva peninsula.  We also take you on Jordan through a digital photography exhibit by Photographer Camara Clayton. See Petra, Amman and number of other cities through his lens.

Next, we are calling all foodies to take a worldwide journey with us as we travel to food festivals that will make your inner foodie do the happy dance. We also help you connect with nature while writing and working outdoors.

We wrap up this edition with our ongoing expat series with life abroad and amidst trouble and turmoil. Damon and Tanisha share best practices with us from their experience living in Nicaragua.

Well, we think you would agree, that there is a lot within these virtual pages this month. We hope you enjoy and please drop us a line to tell us what you think.

Travel Safe.