The many Bantu
Bantu tribes are noted for their nonbloody genital manipulations. Some girls try to widen [the vagina], for instance, by introducing a sweet potato or a piece of cassava (Pelt, [1982:p183]). A note on traditional age of consent:
“If the woman whom the man desires to marry is past the age of puberty and is able to judge for herself as to a man's parts, the man will first address himself to her. If the girl is still a child he goes to her father and mother in the first place. The proposal made, the father and mother discuss the matter. […] The “Bundle” [bride-price] having been given to the assenting parents, when the time comes or the girl arrives at the age of puberty, the bridegroom sends money to the parents so that the girl may be placed in the “paint house”, where she undergoes certain rites of purification. […] When a man sleeps with a child not yet arrived at the age of puberty (Xina Xinselo) and so causes the wrath of God and a drought and consequent famine.”.
“[c]hildren play at
marriage from very early years. I have seen children in
Other teachers, however, would deflower premenstrual girls. Krige (1937:p109) stated: “Bantu children, even before puberty, indulge in play at sexual intercourse; but this is either connived at or looked upon with amusement and toleration by adults, because it can have no social consequences”. Again, “[…] sex play among small children [is] connived at […]” (Krige and Krige, 1954:p79).
Van der Vliet (1974:p223) notes that house playing among Bantu children is common, and in case of the Lobedu, Venda and Pedi leads to highly formalised imitation of marital life, in miniature villages. Sexual intercourse would be rigidly forbidden in the Pedi “village” (p242n11), but Krige and Krige (1947:p109) mention “play intercourse” among the Lobedu. Hunter (1953 [1960:p180-4]) relates that a girl would be ridiculed if she did not have lovers, and is taught how to avoid defloration. Periodical examination is performed by old women. Paradoxically, girls’ seclusion hut becomes an attractant for youth of both sexes.
Steyn and Rip (1968:p511) found that among urban South African Bantu families, very few parents provided any sex education for their children. Most girls had sexual experiences before age 15, and multiple partners were common for both sexes.
D. F., Growing Up Sexually.
Last revised: Sept 2004
 Pelt, P. van (1982) Bantu Customs in Mainland Tanzania. Tabora: TMP Book Dept. 4th ed.
 Dennett, R. E. (1906) At the Back of the Black Man’s Mind.
 Dundas, Ch. (1921) Native Laws of Some Bantu Tribes of East Africa, J Royal Anthropol Instit Great Britain & Ireland 51, Jan-Jun.:217-78
 Torday, E. & Joyce, T. A. (1905) Notes on the Ethnography of the Ba-Mbala, J Royal Anthropol Inst Great Britain & Ireland 35, Jul.- Dec.:398-426
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 Longmore, L. (1959) The Dispossessed.
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development, in Schapera,
 Krige, J. D. & Krige, Ei. J.
(1954) The Lovedu of the
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 Krige, E. J. & Krige, J. D.
(1947) The Realm of a Rain-Queen.
 Hunter, M. (1953 ) Reaction to Conquest. 2nd ed.
Erny (1972 [1981;p60-1])
 Steyn, A. F. & Rip, C. M. (1968) The changing urban Bantu family, J Marr & Fam 30,3:499-517