Growing Up Sexually



NYAMWEZI (Tanzania


IndexAfricaTanzania→ Nyamwezi


Featured: Swahili, Wanguru, Turu, Kwere, Shambala, Ngindo, Chagga, Bena, Nyamwezi, Luguru, Kaguru, Sukuma, Subiya, Ngulu, Hehe, Barabaig, Nyakyusa, Gogo, Baraguyu;® Kuria, ®Masai

Blohm (1931:p96)[1] speaks of rearing marriage. Betrothal could take place at a “very young” age or before birth (p192). Similar to the Sukuma, boys and girls moved out of their parents’ hut any time after the age of 6 and 10 years and lived in girls’ and boys’ dormitories (about ten girls together (Swantz, 1966:p118)[2]. The girls had considerable freedom and the boys could enter into their hut, called maji (cf. ®Basukuma) and vice versa, not needing anyone’s permission. No one was to see them entering, though. As (Blohm, 1933:p25)[3] remarks, “[e]he Mädchen zur Frau reifen können, meinen viele, daß ein Mädchen erst bei einem Mann liegen muß, ehe ihr ersterMonatkommt. Deswegen tun sie es auch”. Children play marriage, but no sexuality was connected to this play by the author (p21, 22).











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] Blohm, W. (1931) Die Nyamwezi, Land und Wirtschaft. Hamburg: Friederichsen, De Gruyter & Co.

[2] Swantz, M. (1966) The Religious and Magical Rites Connected with the Life Cycle of the Women in Some Bantu Ethnic Groups of Tanzania. Thesis, Dar Es Salaam

[3] Blohm, W. (1933) Die Nyamwezi, Gesellschaft und Weltbild. Hamburg: Friederichsen, De Gruyter & Co.