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The Circumcisionist, Malawi, 2006, silver gelatin photographic print, 26 ¼ x 40 in. © Elizabeth Gilbert.

Aug

30

The Circumcisionist, Malawi, 2006, silver gelatin photographic print, 26 ¼ x 40 in. © Elizabeth Gilbert.

At the beginning of “jando”, the Yao circumcision ceremony that initiates boys into manhood, families watch dancing by the head initiator who will perform the circumcisions along with his deputy partner. The dance is designed to entertain and reassure worried parents who will not be present when their children are circumcised in an exclusive encampment. Here, the head circumcisionist, Wilson Songo, a 33 year old second-hand clothing salesman, dances before the crowd. Mangochi District, Malawi. August 3, 2006

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