GEBUSI(Papua New Guinea)


More: Arapesh, Ari, Banaro, Baruya, Binim-Kukusmin, Busama, Dani, Darabi, Dobu Isl., Eipo, Etoro, Foi, Huli, Jaquai, Kaluli, Keraki, Kewa, Kimam, Kiwai, Koko, Kwoma, Lesu, Manus, Marind Anim, New Britain, New Ireland, Normanby Islanders, Paiela, “Sambia”, Trobrianders, Vanatinai, Wogeo




 Gebusi’s initiatory homosexuality included boy insemination per os at pubescence (Knauft, 1985:264ff, 298ff; 1986:p267; 1987a,b, 2003)[1]. The practice was no longer in vogue in 1998[2] (Knauft, 2003)[3]. In contrast to the “Sambia”, Gebusi did not say or imply that men had to be inseminated to reach adulthood; “this was simply an erotic act that could help them in this regard”.

Knauft (2003) speaks of

“[….] avid and openly pursued sexual relations between prospective initiates, who were generally between about 16 and 20 years of age. In addition to being inseminated by fully adult men, these novices, during the months prior to their initiation, joked bawdily with each other, engaged in ribald sexual horseplay, and sometimes paired up and brought each other reciprocally to orgasm, to the amusement and heightened joking of other men. Like the trysts between novices and adult men, these sexual engagements occurred privately and dyadically at night in the bush just outside the longhouse during the course of all-night spirit seances or ritual dances-that is, in a general context of ritually vaunted male ribaldry. The stereotypic nature of these events and their association with spiritual celebration suggested, at least for Gebusi MSM, that "ritualized homosexuality" was, at least in relative terms, a better term than "boy insemination.”





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

Last revised: Aug 2005



[1] Knauft, B. M. (1985) Good Company and Violence:  Sorcery and Social Action in a Lowland New Guinea Society.  Berkeley:  University of California Press; Knauft, B. M. (1986) Text and Social Practice:  Narrative “Longing” and Bisexuality among the Gebusi of New Guinea, Ethos 14:252-281; Knauft, B. M. (1987a) Homosexuality in Melanesia, J Psychoanal Anthropol 10:155-91; Cf. Knauft, B. M. (1987b) Reconsidering Violence in Simple Human Societies: Homicide among the Gebusi of New Guinea, Curr Anthropol 28,4:457-500, at p460

[2] Knauft, B. M. [2001] What Ever Happened to Ritual Homosexuality? The Incitement of Modern Sexual Subjects in Melanesia and Elsewhere. Paper prepared for presentation at the 3rd IASSCS, 1-3 Oct. 2001. Cited with the permission of the author

[3]Knauft, B. M. (2003) What ever happened to ritualized homosexuality? Modern sexual subjects in Melanesia and elsewhere, Ann Rev Sex Res 14:137-59 []