DAYAK (Borneo, Indonesia)


IndexIndonesiaBorneo → Dayak

Dusun, Rungus Dusun, Kayans



Among the Borneo Dayak, “[t]he need comes with puberty” (Geddes, 1968:p63)[1]. “Earlier than this the children, called singly and collectively baduput, go about clothed or unclothed at will. Little attention is paid to their distinguishing sexual characteristics save that those of the boys are very occasionally made the subject of teasing [[2]]. The children are soon aware of the nature of sexual activity, but regard it, fore the most part, as something into which they will grow. They have a modicum for modesty, or are taught it. They would be corrected if they played sexually in public, but they never seem to do so. No one worries about what they might do in private”, which does not amount to much time. Informally, boy and girl groups are separated at play. Schadee (op.cit.) notes that in the rare case of prepubertal marriage, cohabitation is assumed “at the time of puberty” without ceremonial (p424). Premarital intercourse leads to fining and marriage (p422, 452-3).



Additional reading:


  • Schneider, W.M., et. al. (July 1991)Selako male initiation,Ethnology30:279-91





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

Last revised: Sept 2004



[1] Geddes, W. R. (1968) Nine Dayak Nights. London [etc.]: OxfordUniversity Press

[2] At puberty, the boys become entitled to impose a fine upon anyone who even speaks jokingly of this genitals.