Growing Up Sexually



LOZI, MARUTSE, BAROTSE (NORTHERN RHODESIA; Zambia) (3-,3-,3-,3-,2,2;6,4;G3) 


Index Africa Zambia Lozi


Featured: Kaonde, Nkoya, Tonga, Ila, Bemba, M’wemba, Ndembu, Mambwe / Amambwe, Luvale, Lozi


In Northern Rhodesia, infant betrothal was opposed by Lozi law as established by King Lewanika (d. 1916)[1]. According to Stirke (1922)[2], girls were betrothed in childhood, and married after mwalianjo (initiation); there were no boys’ initiation ceremonies (cited by Turner, 1952:p45)[3]. Gluckman (1951:p84/1967:p122)[4] was told by men that the girl “enlarges her vagina with a hoe-handle, and enlarges her labia minora”. Women artificially deflower girls at puberty, so that most men denied knowledge of the hymen, and do not speak in terms of defloration.

Holub (1881:p314)[5] remarked that children “are often affianced at an early age, and the marriage is consummated as soon as the girl arrives at puberty”.










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] Gluckman, M. (1967) The Judicial Process among the Barotse of Northern Rhodesia. Manchester: Manchester University Press, published on behalf of the Institute for Social Research, University of Zambia

[2] Stirke, D. E. C. (1922) Barotseland: Eight Years among the Barotse. London: John Bale, Sons & Danielsson

[3] Turner, V. W. (1952) The Lozi Peoples of Northwestern Rhodesia. London: International African Institute

[4] Gluckman, M. (1951) The Lozi of Barotseland, in Colson, E. & Gluckman, M. (Eds.) Seven Tribes of British Central Africa. London: Oxford University Press, 1-93

[5] Holub, E. (1881) Seven Years in South Africa. London: Sampson Law et al. Vol. II