More: Cubeo, Embera, Alkatcho, Aritama, Zorcas, Kagaba, Kogi
Da Silva (1962:p592),
on the Colombian Vaupés:
precocity of the children, especially of the female sex, is remarkable. It
surprises us to see how individuals who on the outside still look like
children are subjected to the rite of the puberty initiation […]. How much
they appear to know is an even greater surprise. Children still quite young
know perfectly all the mystery of life, like any adult. The girls enter the
mission schools at seven or eight years of age, and at this age they not
infrequently reveal full knowledge of this subject. Sometimes the thought
that already absorbs and preoccupies them is that of marriage, a Missionary
Sister Superior revealed to us. They talk of that often, and perhaps they
might already even know whom they are going to marry, according to the
customs of the tribe and the desires of the parents”.
Siva also noted public mutual masturbation by boys (p181), although
officially, homosexuality only occurs in the puberty rites for boys. The
Vaupé “conceive the sexual relations between the two sexes as a normal
pleasure for the individuals who have reached the legal majority by the
puberty rite, and therefore such relations are practiced publicly, in front
of their own parents of their own spouse […]”.
more than marriage, means “passage from the asexual world of childhood to the
sexual world of adults (Hugh-Jones, 1979a, 1979b:p110), or “the beginning of the participation in the circuit of sexual
energy” (H-J ). “The rite marks the start of the public sexual life,
because up to this time they can only practice it secretly” (Da Silva), which
may also be true for girls (p671). However, “[b]oys approaching initiation
are sometimes involved in homosexual teasing which takes place in hammocks in
public [...]” (H-J, 1979a:p160). Arhem (1981):
“Between the first and second
menstruations, a shaman performs protective magic for her. During this time,
she is also taught the role and duties of an adult and married woman. After
her second menstruation, the shaman starts to bless food in the usual
sequence. The girl gradually returns to normal life and eating habits. When
her hair has grown long again, she is considered an adult woman. She may now
have sexual relations with men and is free to marry”.
“The male initiate is taught that
physical strength, fierceness and sexual aggressivity are the essence of
manhood. In fact, the period following upon the main Jurupari ritual at the
culmination of the male initiation is considered the proper time for marriage
among the Makuna. It is also during this period that the young men learn the
male skills and crafts that are required of them in order to take a wife. In
practice, young, initiated men are not considered entirely adult until they
“Male sexuality is so very much
linked to ritual that it seems unjust to separate them. An example is the ritual
of Yuruparí, in which the initiates are openly compared to menstruating
women, ritually imitating the loss of menstrual blood, dying, and being
reborn (Hugh-Jones, 1974)[]. Menstrual and initiation rites
are full of physiological sexual references. “The initiates’ potential role
in sexual reproduction is stressed, but the low position and small size of
their flutes emphasises the newness and immaturity of their adult physiology.
The flutes have a phallic aspect (shown both in myth and in the rite itself
where they are blown over the boys’ naked penises) and by using them the boys
are opening their own penises” (Hugh-Jones, 1979a:p147).
initiation, sexual intercourse is forbidden (Hugh-Jones, 1979b:p85). Girls should remain virgins till first menstruation and boys until
after initiation (p201).
In one myth, “[t]he Daughter of the Sun had
not yet reached puberty when her father made love to her. The Sun committed
incest with her at Wainambí Rapids, and her blood flowed forth; since then,
women must lose blood every month in remembrance of the incest of the Sun and
so that this great wickedness will not be forgotten. But his daughter liked
it and so she lived with her father as if she were his wife. She thought
about sex so much that she became thin and ugly and lifeless. Newly married
couples become pale and thin because they only think of the sexual act, and
this is called gamúri. But when the Daughter of the Sun had her second
menstruation, the sex act did harm to her and she did not want to eat
anymore. She lay down on a rock, dying; her imprint there can still be seen
on a large boulder at Wainambí Rapids. When the Sun saw this, he decided to
make gamú bayári, the invocation that is made when the girls reach puberty.
The Sun smoked tobacco and revived her. Thus, the Sun established customs and
invocations that are still performed when young girls have their first
menstruation” (Reichel-Dolmatoff, [1971:p28-9]). “[…] the adults stimulate the
youths during puberty in their erotic games and are proud of their
precociousness even when this is not expressed in heterosexual acts” (Amazonian Cosmos, p245).
Fielder, Ch. &
(2004) Sexual Paradox:
Complementarity, Reproductive Conflict, and Human Emergence [Academic
§ Monteiro, Mario
Ypiranga (?) Cariamã, Pubertätsritus der Tucano-Indianer. Zeitschrift
für Ethnologie ?:?
D. F., Growing Up Sexually. Volume I.
World Reference Atlas. 0.2 ed.
Magnus Hirschfeld Archive for Sexology
revised: Jan 2006