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I Classify using Van Genneps categories and point out aspects which would be of particular interest to Turner and to Chapple and Coons The Mescalero girls puberty ceremony is an example of a Rite of Passage a ceremony that marks the transition of an individual from one stage of life to another Chapple and Coons p 484 The ceremony marks the transition from girl to mother of a nation p252 The ritual serves as a means of establishing equilibrium after the crisis of puberty Chapple and Coons p 484 It is a method of making this transition from girl to woman easier I classified this ceremony as a Rite of Passage rather than a Rite of Intensification because it is held in response to a non-periodic change puberty and it affects the participants individually The community plays an important role in supporting the girls-by building the tepee for instance At times as when the boys join the Singers the community actively participates in the ritual However the community is involved only because of its members relations to the girls Van Gennep divides Rites of Passage into three parts separation transition and incorporation In the Mescalero puberty ceremony separation is achieved when the girls move in to their camp homes During this stage the Godmothers and Singers take the role of the parents This may be described as a cessation of interaction between the individual and the group in which he or she has been interacting Chapple and Coons p 485 However there is not a complete separation from the girls and the community There are instances such as the time when the participants sleep while the community holds contests when the two are physically separated but they are near their families and friends during most of the ceremony
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