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Meeri Koutaniem. Blood, Fear and Ritual: Witness to Female Circumcision in Kenya. Women of the village peel potatoes for the ritual dinner

Meeri Koutaniem. Blood, Fear and Ritual: Witness to Female Circumcision in Kenya. Nasirian rests a few hours after the circumcision. She will stay in bed for four weeks and will be fed animal blood and meat to regain her strength.

Meeri Koutaniem. Blood, Fear and Ritual: Witness to Female Circumcision in Kenya. Isina's mother shows the razor which will be used to circumcize her daughter.

Meeri Koutaniem. Blood, Fear and Ritual: Witness to Female Circumcision in Kenya. Nasirian cries at the start of the circumcision

The TIME Vault: 1955

Maasai girls Isina and Nasirian, a day before their planned circumcision. The girls' names have been changed in this piece.

Meeri Koutaniem. Blood, Fear and Ritual: Witness to Female Circumcision in Kenya. Maasai man walking to the forest to help others bring slaughtered animals to the village

Meeri Koutaniem. Blood, Fear and Ritual: Witness to Female Circumcision in Kenya. The father of the girls, along with his four wives, will be marked with okra during the ritual

Meeri Koutaniem. Blood, Fear and Ritual: Witness to Female Circumcision in Kenya. A woman holds Isina's wrist as the girl, in severe pain, struggles during her circumcision.