Extreme Arabic Circumcision

Just read an article on circumcision in foreign cultures, and apparently the Arabs used to perform a rather extreme form of circumcision; instead of simply severing the foreskin from the penis, the circumciser would completely strip the skin from the penis shaft and the scrotum.

This practice stopped because they were losing too many Arabs, I gather.

What the hell did they think they were accomplishing with this procedure?
Also, what was holding in the nuts without the sac?

two questions:

where the hell did you read this?

how old were the circumcisedees?

I read it in an old Hebrew dictionary/encyclopaedia…by the looks of it, the book was about 75 years old. According to the book the circumcised were adolescents.
The encyclopaedia apparently passed some ecumenical criteria to be certified as factual and true, so I guess you can rule out this as a hoax.
BTW the book was in the DREXEL University library in Philly.

no wait, woah!

you’re in philly? dude, we should totally me up for a drink or something. I’m half an hour a way and completely from philly! what the shits?

oh, btw. you could probbly find copies of “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” about that old from a library. Just because it’s old doesn’t mean people didn’t lie a century ago.

This place is a never ending supply of great band names.

As for the OP I’d take it with a large grain of kosher salt (just don’t get it on that stripped willy). Stripping off that much skin would be a quick to to lose a lot of circumcisees and the few that survived probably wouldn’t be eager to pass on the fruit of their loins.

I have read about this practice too, in Arabian Sands by Wilfred Thesiger.

It was not “the Arabs” who did this. The Arabian Peninsula is a huge land the size of the United States east of the Mississippi, with several different ecosystems and many different tribes with widely differing cultures. You can’t generalize about “the Arabs” any more than you can about “the American Indians.”

The people who had that practice were certain primitive tribes who lived in the highlands of Hijaz or `Asir in southwest Arabia north of Yemen. An area with a culture quite distinct from that of the rest of Arabia: it was agricultural and not camel-based. They not only removed the skin from the penis and scrotum; they flayed off the skin from the navel to the upper thighs. Yeeesh. The flayed penis was then “kippered” by holding it in the smoke from a fire. It was a rite of passage for adolescents to withstand that much suffering. Of course, a lot of boys died that way, which is why it was never widespread to begin with. This was only done by a few tribes in an out-of-the-way corner of the peninsula along the Red Sea.

The mainstream of Arab culture, the people of Mecca and Yathrib for example, and the long-civilized people of Yemen, practiced the same regular circumcision as the Jews and Americans. Nothing freaky.

The hill-people of Jabal Qara in Dhofar, southern Oman, had a culture that was totally different from the rest of Arabia–for example, they were cattle herders and didn’t use camels. They spoke a different language, and culturally resembled East Africans more than Arabs. Their rite of passage included, in addition to circumcision, flaying a strip of skin off the scalp from front to back, a reverse Mohawk. Then the boy had to run around a circle of women while singing to demonstrate indifference to pain. Their traditional culture was uprooted by the civil war in Dhofar during 1965-1975 and now probably most of them have wound up in urban slums.