15. Thiam (Paris: Denoel/Gonthier, 1978); Saadawi (London: Zed, 1980 and 1983); Accad (Paris: L'Harmattan, 1982). Some of the most famous defenses of the practice of sexual mutilation include Jomo Kenyatta, Facing Mount Kenya: The Tribal Life of the Gikuyu (London: Secker and Warburg, 1938); A. Van Gennep, Les Rites de passage (Paris: Nourrit, 1909); E. Leach, Culture and Communication: The Logic by Which the Symbols are Connected (London: Cambridge University Press, 1976). In all cases, the basis for the defense is a presumed homology or symmetry between circumcision and excision, and the fact that these practices form part of a classic three-phase ritual process marking entry into adulthood (for children of both sexes), and social integration into the community. For a traditionalist female perspective, see the novel by Flora Nwapa, Efuru (London: Heinemann, 1966).
[ return to text ]