Growing Up Sexually


TOLOWA (California; North-American Natives)


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See also: North-America Non-Natives


According to DuBois[1], a Girls’ Puberty Ceremony was held for all young women in the village and would last for ten days. It took place over three successive menstrual periods. Boys did not undergo initiation but were taken deer hunting and fishing around the age of eleven or twelve. In Tolowan society marriages were arranged. There was a bride price paid by the groom’s family, and the bride price would be greater if the girl’s puberty ceremony had been highly elaborate. The bride would also present her mother-in-law with a gift of ornaments and accessories. Households were often either patrilocal or matrilocal but included only the nuclear family. Females who were considered industrious also encountered a higher bride price, because women’s work was valued, although the informant gave the impression that males were considered superior to females.





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

Last revised: Jun 2005


[1] DuBois, Cora A. Tolowa Notes. American Anthropologist April, 1932 Vol.34(2):236-247.