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The Tigre people observe strictly the covenant of circumcision, in the same way as all the people of Abyssinia. They count him that has not been circumcised as a slave ; and they revile him saying "uncircumcised slave." They circumcise all male children while they are small. And even the girls they circumcise, and by the circumcision they tell their inviolated virginity; and if she is not circumcised they count her as a slave. Thus all their offspring are circumcised while they are young. And when a boy has been circumcised, they tell him at the door of his mother to give a shout of challenge, and he gives this shout. Then he pierces with a lance a net suspended] in the door and his mother gives the shout of joy. And his father gives him the "circumcision present," [i. e.] a head of cattle or of goats, and this is counted as the property of the boy. And it is said: "He has received the circumcision present." Besides he receives on that day presents from his other relatives; he dresses in
a white cloak. The boy is circumcised by a man; but the girl by a woman.

The age at which the children are circumcised varies from one to six years. Circumcisio puellarum fit hunc in modum. Pars clitoridis absciditur, et duo labia in ea parte quae ante vaginam est inciduntur; ea pars quae ante urethram est non inciditur. Postea femora puellae colligantur, et in lecto recumbit donee vulnus sanatur et vagina clauditur. In nuptiis femina quaedam puellam cultro aperit, neque ante diem quadragesimum coniux ei appropinquat.

The "shout of challenge" is e.g. "[I am] a bull, a bull;" or U [I am] a good
mark's man, a good mark's man."

i) Literally : "property. 1 '