Featured : Owambo, Bergdama, Nama, !Ko, !Kung, Herero


Vedder (1928 [1966:p49])[1] states that the development of breasts of girls was the sign for the first physical preparation for marriage. At menstruation, she is “instructed in the manner of her conduct towards young men and brothers [including a strict incest avoidance], and in her later station as a married woman towards her husband”. She is now considered “adult”. Marriage may be arranged in childhood (p52) but this is not the sole way. Premarital pregnancy is regarded a disgrace.










Janssen, D. F., Growing Up Sexually. Volume I. World Reference Atlas. 0.2 ed. 2004. Berlin: Magnus Hirschfeld Archive for Sexology

Last revised: Sept 2004


[1] Vedder, H. (1928) The Berg Damara, in Hahn, C. H. L., Vedder, H. & Fourie, L. (Eds.) The Native Tribes of South West Africa. London: Frank Cass & Co., p39-78