Centuries old ritual or Children’s rights of infringe?

Huli man with pipe. They decorate their wigs along with possum fur and bird of paradise feathers. Photo by Chris McLennan

New Guinea with its diversity of cultural practices is superior to the modern world, because of the isolated strains were able to survive as social experiments, which those people would have been totally unacceptable. The most prominent is the practise of child-rearing. In particular, the introduction of children into the sex life. Inaugural sexual life of boys starts early, from age 7 and last  for ten years at the Sambia tribe. The first phase, boy is separated from his mother and the surrounding women. He moves to a remote cottage where he lives with the other boys and older men . The second stage is the most important , he become absolutely masculine male in the world, he can only contact men, and this falls under the ritualistic homosexual acts with older men. They think that the more experienced with men, hereby ,help to make spiritual progress in some stage of connection. The mature, wise, strong old man’s semen in the boy, believed to strengthen the organization and, therefore, is not an act of sexual desire, but a lot stronger in his intention to grow up. During the two phases  the boys informed about the threat of women and explain how they must clean their bodies, souls of all women dirt. One such technique of purification of epistaxis, which the male members of the tribe will be initiated when the family members of menstruating women – so they can update their blood on the one hand, on the other hand they make their  body  independent from the  female bleeding body.

Masculinization rituals at the Sambia tribe

The third stage is actually a man in his inaugural ceremony. The boys are kept in the woods where they must cut their sexual modesty hair and they must take it into an old tree’s hollow.  This rite of fertility, strength, and loyalty symbolizes purification. The boy throughout his life will remain faithful to his wife because the faithlessness – both sexes – execution ends. Anthropologists say that ritual is not a prove to the physical maturity, but also demonstrate social maturity. In the case of boys this is more sophisticated than in the case of girls. A woman becomes is a natural process but  become a man is  cultural processes at these tribes. Occur in other strange traditions in this surprising world of tribes. There are tribes where allowe that the children take up hot things and burn themselves. Bahaian parents sometimes put hot stinging nettle on children’s face when they want punish. At the Barum tribe institutionalized bisexuality among men: young gay boys living together in a large, community  house, while each maintaining a separate small house for his wife and daughters and the little sons.  Members of Tudawhes live at  two-storey houses,  lived on the lower floor for women, infants, unmarried girls together. And on the other storey live the unmarried men and boys. In many cases happened steps taken to protect children, but these radically changed the traditional of tribe.

Ilona Kaszanyi

Further Read

Sambia sexual culture: essays from the field by Gilbert H. Herdt


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