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In my tribe, the boys participate in a strange painful ritual developed by the Sateré Mawé tribe. We must complete this ritual until we do not cry, only then do we become men in the eyes of the elders.
I don't think I'm ready for this.
This will teach you strength.
In the ritual, the boy must wear gloves filled with bullet ants, the most painful insect sting known to the world. The toxin stays in effect for a full day, the most intense pain happening in the first hour. After that, the body tries to reject the venom and begins to violently shake.
My older tribe member, who was participating in the ritual with me for his eighteenth time, ha put on the gloves and began writhing in pain. I put on the gloves, and the pain began shooting into my hands immediately.
I had already failed, but my friend was void of any excruciating pain.
It hurts too much, how are you this strong?
The pain had almost ceased at the end of the day, and my friend had succeeded in showing resilience and bravery. He had not shed a single tear.
The experience was like no other. I had been shown what a true man was, and I still had much to do before I was strong enough to surpass the challenge.
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