Growing Up Sexually



N’JEMP (Kenya)


Index Africa Kenya N’Jemp


Featured : Pokomo, Amwimbe, Kore, Kuria, Masai, N’Jemp, Ariaal Rendille, Kamba, Tiriki, Chuka, Maragoli, Kikuyu, Kipsigis, Gusii, Luo, Meru, Samburu, Tuken, Nandi; ®Iteso



An “off-shoot” of the Masai, among the N’Jemp, as observed by Denis (1967 [1966:p166-71][1]), children “lead an almost idyllic life”, “free to play whatever sexual games they please among themselves, and it is not until the age of twelve of thereabouts that life starts in earnest”, at which age he is made a moran, junior warrior. As the Masai, these warriors sleep in a communal hut, manyatta, and have restricted sexual intercourse, ombani na ngweko, or “platonic love and fondling”, heavy petting. The practice “is something that develops naturally out of the permissive behaviour between the sexes in late childhood”, and is considered “ “the foundation stone of morality since it produces a race free from nervous and psychic maladjustments” ”. The permissiveness only applies within the same age group, married women being taboo for the juniors.












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] Denis, A. (1967) Taboo. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons