PAIELA (Papua New Guinea)


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





Adolescents by definition neither copulate nor sexually reproduce. They are considered chaste and sterile, in fact not really male or female, until they are married and become parents (Biersack, 1982:p242)[1]. The boy’s puberty rite include periodical seclusion with an imaginary “ginger woman” to have her grow him into marriage, using “her”, it seems, as a rehearsal wife (p252); sexual intercourse is tabooed during the ritual period. Genitals are considered so obscene, that one does not look at or touch one self’s (p244); sexual intercourse is equated with seeing the genitalia.










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] Biersack, A. (1982) GingerGardens for the Ginger Woman: Rites and Passages in a Melanesian Society, Man, New Series 17,2:239-58