Growing Up Sexually







Featured: Swahili, Wanguru, Turu, Kwere, Shambala

, Ngindo, Chagga, Bena, Nyamwezi, Luguru, Kaguru, Sukuma, Subiya, Ngulu, Hehe, Barabaig, Nyakyusa, Gogo, Baraguyu;® Kuria, ®Masai


Beidelman (1967:p25)[1] states that boys are “circumcized in the bush at the ages of five to seven”. Not mentioning initiation schools, it is also stated that “Grandparents instruct persons in sexual relations”.

Denis[2] details the ngoma initiation rites for both sexes (p18-35). Boys’ and girls’ secondary hair is epilated, and the initiandi are instructed in in reproductive physiology. A girl is apparently not instructed in menarche matters, since on its occurrence, she runs away in fright until she drops from exhaustion (p28). During the rites there is a taboo on coitus (p29).












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] Beidelman, T. O. (1967) The Matrilineal Peoples of Eastern Tanzania. London: International African

Institute. Cited by Marck, J. (1997) Aspects of male circumcision in subequatorial African culture history, Health Transition Rev, Suppl. to 7:337-59, at p354t

[2] Denis, H. (1978) Wakwere Zeden en Gewoonten. Berg en Dal [Holland]: Afrika Museum