Growing Up Sexually




IndexAmericasSouth AmericaBrazilMundurucu 





Tocantins (1877:[p34])[1]:


“Sometimes a Mundurucu is betrothed to a young girl through an agreement with her family, and thenceforth treats her as his future wife, supplying her with game and other means of subsistence until she reaches puberty and the marriage is consummated”.


Horton (1948:p278-9)[2]:

Martius (1867) says that a girl at her first menstruation is required to undergo a long period of fasting “while exposed to the smoke in the gable of the hut. A girl may be betrothed while still quite young to a mature warrior. Though she remains with her parents and the marriage is not consummated until she reaches puberty, the prospective husband assumes the responsibility of providing food for her and her parents. A younger man may obtain a wife by giving several years’ bride service in the household of the girl’s parents”.


Murphy (1985:p130, 202)[3]


“There were no puberty ceremonies of any kind at the time of our visit, but informants told us that rites used to be held for young boys. […] With the passage through puberty, the girl is now considered to be sexually available and goes through a period of courtship and liaisons. By fourteen she is ready for marriage, and the cycle of mature womanhood begins”.







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]Tocantins, A. M. G. (1877) Studies on the Mundurucu Tribe. Rio de Janeiro: J.M.N. Garcia, 1877. HRAF MS [original: 73-161p; eHRAF, 2003

[2] Horton, D. (1948) The Mundurucu, in Handbook of South American Indians, Volume III. Washington: U.S. G.P.O., p271-82

[3] Murphy, Y. (1985) Women of the Forest. New York: Columbia University Press