Regarding the aborigines (natives) of the Island of Mauritius, or the porcupine men, an astonishing article was written from the journey of “Christian Zober”.
In this article, where the repenting rituals of these people was explained in detail, the method of repentance of one among the repenting men was described in this way: … he had hammered two silver needles from the lower side of his face and the third needle crossing from the bottom of his tongue upwards, because of which he couldn’t shut his mouth at all; and saliva used to fall from his mouth which made it look really awful. In his cheeks he didn’t insert pins, instead, he had hammered large skewers such that one was near the lips and the other slightly down, and in the same way, he had pushed the fourth and fifth inside his cheeks. And this man seemed to be an amateur and beginner compared to the other repenters I witness afterwards.
Then he adds: A thirty year old woman, whose hair and face appeared to be of a fifty year old, had one needle crossing her face, and was forced to carry thirty kilograms of reed and clay etc. on the back of her neck and drop it at the worship place.
In the entire duration of stay, people of different forms and appearances appeared in front of us.
Among the fifty people who were repenting and had needles, nails and skewers hammered inside their body, eight were women, three were children, and the rest were men. Some of them had inserted more than two hundred nails inside their body.
Some others had more than two hundred needles in their arms and the wrists of both their hands. One of them, apart from arms and wrists, had inserted long spear-like skewers inside their chest also.
The most astonishing man whom I witnessed in this ritual, was the one who’s head, chest and stomach, as well as his arms, neck and back, was covered with nails, needles and spears. To describe him, one cannot use any other word except for “a porcupine like man”. The spears had been inserted vertically in his body and the lowest point which came in contact with him made the spears go deeper inside his body’s flesh.
It is evident that these dreadful scenes were the reactions of that same feeling of sins, and the attention and liking of obtaining purification from the stains of crimes and oppressions. As they weren’t guided in the right way, just like all the other unguided sentiments and feelings, they began to show illogical and unintellectual reactions; but this story approves the argument that a man becomes extremely disturbed and sorrowful because of the disgraceful feeling of sins, and he wishes to rescue himself from this disgrace, and purify himself from these stains. And it is necessary that he should be guided towards such logical and intellectual programs which satisfy the soul and conscience and return him his lost value and dignity.
Some of the nations (like the Christians) consider confession of sins in the presence of a priest or religious head to be the condition of its forgiveness. This method of confessing sins and repentance causes the disclosure of secrets and the exposure of defects before those who do not have awareness regarding it, and it makes a person feel ashamed and undignified both in front of his conscience and near others, where his position and value becomes stained and his wicked past gets apparent. It also makes the priests and popes the false owners of forgiveness and pardon of sins, and the benefactors for the sinners.