Definitions for SSO
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word SSO
The Sso was an initiation rite practiced by the Beti of Cameroon in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The participants were young men between 15 and 25 years of age who, by completing the rite, became adults and enjoyed added privileges, such as passage into the land of the ancestors at death. Each boy was sponsored by an esia Sso. The sponsor of the rite was a village headman; he was expected to provide food and lodging for guests and to pay for several large feasts during the rite's six-month duration. Other important figures were the zum loa, who revealed past sins that the sponsor had committed and which would be expiated by the rite's completion, and the mfek Sso, who organised and administered the rite. The Sso candidates lived away from the sponsor's compound in a barracks called the esam Sso. The rite consisted of numerous feasts for the sponsors and elders and harrowing trials for the candidates. The boys had no instruction or supervision and relied on hunting and stealing to survive. After five months, the mfek Sso gathered the candidates around the ritual Sso tree and signalled the rite's last stages. In the final ordeal, the boys danced around their compound, were sprayed with ants or itching powder, and crawled through a tunnel from the esam Sso to the sponsor's compound. After one final hunt, the rite was completed and the boys obtained adult status.
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