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






Anal intercourse among the Marind-anim tribes of Irian Jara (formerly Dutch New Guinea) is begun between the ages of seven and fourteen years (Wirz, I, 1922:p45-6:p; cf. 1928:p141[1]; Van Baal, 1934[2]; 1966:p143-4, 147)[3], although Van Baal also speaks of pubertal onset (1966:p118; 1934:p49-50); the author does not state a passive-to-active transition age. In general, the average age of onset would be 10 (Bleibtrue-Ehrenberg, 1980:p118), thus when the boy was called patur [in fact, aroi-patoer, 13-15] (see also Van Baal, 1984[4]; Hage, 1981:p271; Herdt, 1984:p60; Money and Ehrhardt, 1973/1996:p132-5), and during the time he is wokravĭd, and afterward éwati (some 4 to 5 years post aroi-patur; cf. 1934:p54) and until he becomes miakim (id., p50, 54, 155; cf. Van Baal, 1947:p142[5]; Berkhout, 1919:p442, 443, 444-5, 446-7)[6]. The wokravĭd is mockingly named “a girl” (Viegen, communicated to Van Baal, 1934:p49n177; cf. p53, 54). Van Baal (1966; Money and Ehrhardt, 1973/1996:p132) observed that the Marind Anim freely accept sex play of children. Van Baal, however, also quotes Wirz as observing that patur [<13] are “mit peinlicher Prüderie von allem Obszönen ferngehalten”. Sexual segregation starts at 4-5 to 7-8 years, and is strict by the time of pubertal onset. Boys go to the gotad (boy’s house), where masturbation and homosexual interaction with age-mates and a male mentor (binahor-evai) may occur. Homosexual practices are rumoured to take place at ceremonies and known to take place at special occasions as well. Girls are likewise assigned to a mentor, but no homosexuality was reported.

Heterosexual intercourse is forbidden to the novices (Van Baal, 1934:p132) until it occurs ceremonially (p55, 154-5) when miakim during the Majo part of the initiation.  According to Berkhout and Wirz (I, p47), however, every éwati has his affairs with wahukus [roughly, ages 13-16, pubescent]or kivasom iwages [16-18].









Additional reading:





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

Last revised: Oct. 2004


[1] Wirz, P. (1928) Dämonen und Wilde in Neuguinea. Stuttgart: Strecker & Schröder

[2] Van Baal, J. (1934) Godsdienst en Samenleving in Nederlandsch-Zuid-Nieuw-Guinea. Dissertation. Amsterdam: N.V. Noord-Hollandsche Uitgeversmaatschappij. See index “homosexueel”

[3] Op.cit.

[4] Van Baal, J. (1984) The dialectics of sex in Marind-anim culture, in Herdt, G. H. (Ed.) Ritualized Homosexuality in Melanesia. Berkeley: University of California Press, p128-66

[5] Van Baal, J. (1947) Over Wegen en Drijfveren der Religie: Een Godsdienstpsychologische Studie. Amsterdam: N.V. Noord-Hollandsche Uitgeversmaatschappij

[6] Berkhout, L. (1919) Bijdrage tot de kennis van de Majo-inwijdingsfeesten bij de Marindeezen, Bijdragen Taal-, Land- & Volkenkunde Nederlandsch-Indië [Dutch] 75:438-47