Discuss traditional west african dancing
By aghis
#27375
It was a great surprise one day in Ghana when a very talented dancer came from nowhere with 4 young boys (4-5 years old). They were acting very nice acrobatic tricks, the 4 year old boys where flying ,falling down and just laughing about it. Later they came with a hat to collect some money. They were living near the beach, there is a name for these kind of groups in Africa, i dont remember it . I also noticed that this man had his nose cut, and this is what i dont understand. He was the second dancer i saw in Ghana with no nose. It was shocking. I asked about it, they told me its a punishment they some times give to very bad boys. I know that dancers tend to be rude and they are strong, dance is all about these stuff, but having your nose cut is a very painful thing. I didnt crosscheck the information, i didnt want to know anything more about it.
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By michi
#27379
aghis wrote:I also noticed that this man had his nose cut, and this is what i dont understand. He was the second dancer i saw in Ghana with no nose. It was shocking. I asked about it, they told me its a punishment they some times give to very bad boys.
I've been to Ghana twice and have never seen anyone without a nose. Man, what sort of punishment is that?

Anyone know more about this? This is the first time I've heard of this.

Michi.
By neuroanimal
#30002
Regarding cutting nose, lips or ears: it is not new thing in Ghana (formerly Gold Coast).
Here is a young man whose lips and both ears were cut off a few years ago in Kumase because he had stolen fish which was meant to be for the king. Crimes like, for example, swearing the king's oath or insulting a chief are sometimes punished by cutting off the offender's the nose.

Such panishments have a long history:
Mutilation of protruding parts of the body (lips, tongue, breast, hands, genitals, nose, ears) was performed as judicial punishment, at different times and in various places. Proof can be gained from many ancient sources: from the Hammurabi code to the Egyptian papyri in the dynastic period, from the writings of Hindu vedic medicine described by Susruta and Charaka to the descriptions of the habits of the populations of Pre-Colombian America.
(...)
The practice of amputating the nose as punishment for adultery was widespread also amongst other populations and was performed, even if rarely, also by the Greeks and the Romans, but it was the Byzantines, in particular and after them the Arabs who used this practice, and in societies so male-orientated, often the husband whose wife had been unfaithful was instructed to act as executioner.
(...)
Rhinotomy was also used against political opponents.


There were even kings of Ethiopia, whose noses were cut:
Another example from a non-western culture is that of Nebahne Yohannes, an unsuccessful claimant to the Ethiopian imperial throne who had his ears and nose cut off, yet was then freed. This form of mutilation against unsuccessful claimants to thrones has been in use in middle-eastern regions for thousands of years. To qualify as a king, formerly, one had to exemplify perfection. Obvious physical deformities such as missing noses, ears, or lips, are thereby sufficient disqualifications. The victim in these cases is typically freed alive to act (a) as an example to others, and (b) as no longer a threat.

Today some Muslim societies use similar punishments (but rarely).
In Sharia law, mutilation is, in certain cases, used as a punishment for crimes. For example, thieves may be punished by having the right hand amputated.

Cutting of the nose or other parts of the body is widely condemned in public medias, especially when made by Aphgan Talibs (see last link in references).

References:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/article ... 29.044.pdf
http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/singl ... 7464/rec/2
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kumasi
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutilation
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... -laws.html