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Paraponera clavata is a species of ant, commonly known as the bullet ant, named on account of its powerful and potent sting due to its venom. The Sateré-Mawé people of Brazil use intentional bullet ant stings as part of their initiation rites to become a warrior.[18] The ants are first rendered unconscious by submerging them in a natural sedative, and then hundreds of them are woven into gloves made of leaves (which resembles a large oven mitt), stingers facing inward. When the ants regain consciousness, a boy slips the gloves onto his hands. The goal of this initiation rite is to keep the glove on for a full 10 minutes. When finished, the boy’s hand and part of his arm are temporarily paralyzed because of the ant venom, and he may shake uncontrollably for days. The only “protection” provided is a coating of charcoal on the hands, supposedly to confuse the ants and inhibit their stinging. To fully complete the initiation, however, the boys must go through the ordeal a total of 20 times over the course of several months or even years.

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