Coming of Age by Rachel Nyagondwe Fiedler
Publication Date: 2002-07-01
Virtually all African societies have developed transitional rites to assist the processes of growing up, by which girls and boys are taught what they need to become acceptable adults in their cultures. This book comprises the record and interpretation of one such set of initiation rites for women which was developed in matrilineal southern Malawi as a grassroots initiation, set alongside the teachings, songs and drama produced in traditional form in a Baptist Church. The book supposes that it is the first full written record of all the teaching songs and drama produced as part of the rites in the context in which they were presented. It has been published to document this tradition, and to safeguard and preserve a valuable tool for future societies. More widely, it invites readers to understand how such a rite, traditional and Christian at the same time, has taken up the challenge to strengthen women against the new threats of HIV/AIDS.