Katoba: A Rite of Passage in Muna Society, Indonesia
AbstractHere, we presented a traditional rite of passage which relates to the transition from childhood to adolescence in Muna society. Katoba, the ceremony of being Muslim, is the initiation ritual performed on boys and girls around the age of 7-14 years. The ritual is considered as public ceremony because whether it is performed on one child or more children, it involves the nuclear family, relatives, and the society as a whole. Every child in Muna must undergo the ritual and it is the obligation for parents to hold katoba for their children as part of a way to purify them. In the procession of katoba, the main practice is the verbal symbol containing the pledge repentance and testimony of faith as an entry point to becoming a Muslim, and the advices passed on from the priest to the children. The advices include the obedience to parents and respect to others, ways of cleansing, and protection of human belonging. In general, the advices maintain the traditional and religious morality as pivotal components of personality development to shape character and behavior as adults in their daily life. Indeed, the practice of katoba is not only a ritual to assert the faith as Muslims. Moreover, it contains both lessons and advices rooted in local wisdom as an educational channel that could help children during their integration into the community.
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