This paper is a qualitative study about turi (female circumcision) among Meranao Muslim women in Iligan City, Lanao del Norte. To determine certain sources of explanation for pervasiveness of the practice, the study identified terms used when referring to turi, and description of beliefs. The essence of turi was examined by identifying and describing the methods used. Perceived consequences on health, social relationships and self- concept were explored. Sixteen snowball chosen key informants were interviewed from November 2006 to February 2007.
Pag-Islam and turi are the Meranao terms which the respondents used to refer to female circumcision. Most of them believed that turi (female circumcision) is a form of baptism of a girl child into the Islamic faith. turi traces its origin to the patriarchal stage of Ibrahim (or Abraham according to Christian Holy Scriptures). Majority of the informants and their female family members practiced the ritual turi on account of two categories of reasons- religious and ethno-traditional. It is either or both the mother and the grandmother respondents who made decision involving turi. The age bracket 2 to 9 years old when most of the respondents underwent turi. The same is true to most females in Muslim-dominated areas of Lanao del Sur and Lanao del Norte. Various materials were used in performing theturi ritual, each of which symbolizes a particular purpose or function in the ritual. Majority of the respondents experienced the used of needle in the turi (female circumcision) rite. Ablution, magic chants, and prayers were done before, during, and after the ritual. Kandori is offered to the magtuturi (practitioner) in gratitude for her performance. Certain prohibitions were imposed on the subject of turi, such as for staying home for 3 to 4 days.
Turi is perceived to have no adverse effect on health nor on social relations within the family. In terms of self-concept, turi has not altered the way respondents viewed themselves, although a few expressed happiness after having undergoneturi.
One implication of the findings on the study emerges from the shift in the terms used by the respondents, that is, from turi to pag-Islam. This modification implies that the concept of turi is evolving from ethno-traditional to religious. This, however, requires further study.
Cited as: ARQUISAL, Amabelle B.. Turi Among Selected Meranao Women Residing in Iligan City. Master’s Thesis, MSU-IIT. 2007
Category: Arts, Social Science
Course/Degree: Master of Arts in Sociology (MA Socio)
School/Institution/University: School of Graduate Studies, Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology
School Address: Tibanga, Iligan City, Philippines
Published in: 2007