South America

IES: Brazil





IndexAmericasSouth AmericaBrazil → Kaingángs / Caingangs / Aweikoma (Ge)


Jules Henry (1941 [1964:p17-9])[1] reports materno-infantile masturbation in the Kaingángs[2]. Allegedly, the adults introduce the children in their vita sexualis. Despite the fact that “little children of two and three are told jocularly to copulate with one another”, and “[b]abies are jokingly told to copulate with people anywhere from ten to twenty times their age, and a man sixty-five years old will call a toddler of three “my co-husband” (etc.)[3], “[...] I never saw or heard of intercourse among children. Jokes about the love affairs of children among themselves are never made by the adults nor by the children. The children receive so much satisfaction from adults it is hard to see why they should bother with one another. [...] Children lie like cats absorbing the delicious stroking of adults”. Thus, the child’s wandering “often culminate in the sexual experience to which the grown-ups are eager to introduce the child, and he is generally enjoyed first by a person much older than he. Some married men have nicknames that bear a humorous reference to their experience in trying to deflower young girls. […] The growing child’s sexual experience is primarily humorous, often illicit, administered by adults and apt to be violent in the case of girls”.


Further reading:


·        Pereira, Magali Cecili Surjus (1998) Meninas e meninos kaingáng : o processo de socialização. Londrina : Editora UEL



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

Last revised: Jan 2006


[1] Henry, J. (1941 [1964]) Jungle People: A Kaingang Tribe of the Highlands of Brazil. New York: J. J. Augustin. See also Róheim, G. (1956) The individual, the group, and mankind, Psychoanal Quart 25:1-10, p6-7; Stephens (1963:p376-7)

[2] “The sexuality of little boys is stimulated by their mothers by manipulation of the genitals before they can walk”.

[3] “Even Kaingáng babies learn that the terms connected with sex have an aura of laughter and spice”.