IndexAfricaMalawi → Lake Nyasa


Featured : Lake Nyasa, Chewa, Yao, Ngoni; ®Nyakyusa


Lake Nyasa boys and girls play at being man and wife before puberty[1]. “As children, boys and girls play at being man and wife, building little houses in the bush and sleeping together; this is known as masanje. Promiscuous sexual intercourse among girls before puberty is common; in this way the vagina is usually dilated and no operation for so doing is performed. A virgin on her marriage is “broken” by a friend of the bridegroom before the latter cohabits with her. The friend is said “to eat new things”- Kudia ujobvu. A boy having an emission in the night will take his soiled cloth to the headman of the village. He says, if the stain be black, that the boy must not marry as he will be impotent” (p309-10). Curiously: “A certain degree of precocity is apparent at least in young boys, and is noticeably lost when they arrive at the age of puberty, when sexual excess seems to reduce them to a state of, in many cases, semi-imbecility. From this they may recover, or on the other hand they may remain certainly not so bright as when they were boys” (p295). Seduction of a virgin requires a payment of the equivalent of 2 dollars, “unless he marry her immediately”. “Young girls by constant pulling on the labia minora and enclosed clitoris try to cause elongation, as such is said to be admired” (p317).












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] Stannus, loc.cit.