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The Sambia People. Overview GeographyGeography Violence & AggressionViolence & Aggression Social RolesSocial Roles MarriageMarriage AcculturationAcculturation.

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Presentation on theme: "The Sambia People. Overview GeographyGeography Violence & AggressionViolence & Aggression Social RolesSocial Roles MarriageMarriage AcculturationAcculturation."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Sambia People

2 Overview GeographyGeography Violence & AggressionViolence & Aggression Social RolesSocial Roles MarriageMarriage AcculturationAcculturation OrientationOrientation

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5 Home Eastern Highlands of New GuineaEastern Highlands of New Guinea Organized in small clusters of villagesOrganized in small clusters of villages Live in the jungle and practice farmingLive in the jungle and practice farming Tend to move frequently to avoid enemies and prevent taxing their resourcesTend to move frequently to avoid enemies and prevent taxing their resources

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7 A History of Violence…. If they exchange women with nearby villages = friendshipIf they exchange women with nearby villages = friendship Otherwise, they fight the nearby villagesOtherwise, they fight the nearby villages War is ongoingWar is ongoing Raids on villages, stealing of valuables, including womenRaids on villages, stealing of valuables, including women Women may seduce young boys from their own or nearby villages, which also causes great conflictsWomen may seduce young boys from their own or nearby villages, which also causes great conflicts

8 Social Roles MenMen WarriorsWarriors Tribe leaders-in charge of politics and decisions regarding their tribeTribe leaders-in charge of politics and decisions regarding their tribe HuntersHunters Guardians of their ancestry, culture, traditions, beliefs, and creation storyGuardians of their ancestry, culture, traditions, beliefs, and creation story In charge of initiation rites and ritualsIn charge of initiation rites and rituals

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10 Superstition and Beliefs Semen is important to all life, especially malesSemen is important to all life, especially males Semen is in short supply, and is thus highly treasuredSemen is in short supply, and is thus highly treasured Women’s sexual essence is menstral fluid and is something to be fearedWomen’s sexual essence is menstral fluid and is something to be feared Both males and females have an organ, tingu, that secretes their sexual essenceBoth males and females have an organ, tingu, that secretes their sexual essence When a woman’s tingu bursts, she is thought to be naturally ready to reproduceWhen a woman’s tingu bursts, she is thought to be naturally ready to reproduce When a man is born, his tingu is shriveled and dryWhen a man is born, his tingu is shriveled and dry A boy’s tingu cannot secrete a sexual essence without his initiation into manhoodA boy’s tingu cannot secrete a sexual essence without his initiation into manhood Younger men can die from sexual intercourse with a woman if they are not properly preparedYounger men can die from sexual intercourse with a woman if they are not properly prepared It saps the little resources that they have before initiationIt saps the little resources that they have before initiation

11 Initiation Purpose: To transform boys who are considered feminine (because they grew up with women) into strong malesPurpose: To transform boys who are considered feminine (because they grew up with women) into strong males At the age of 7-10, the boy leaves his mother’s home and goes to live with other boys in a big house, or may take up residence with an older male to learn about becoming a man (in much smaller villages)At the age of 7-10, the boy leaves his mother’s home and goes to live with other boys in a big house, or may take up residence with an older male to learn about becoming a man (in much smaller villages)

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13 Stages of Initiation Stage 1Stage 1 Inducted into men’s cultInducted into men’s cult Lasts for 7 days and includes 18 ritualsLasts for 7 days and includes 18 rituals (nose bleeding) If any try to run away, they are treated worse than the other boys and could endure beatings for punishmentIf any try to run away, they are treated worse than the other boys and could endure beatings for punishment Dance ceremony takes place – boys are told that to become strong men they must “eat the penis” and ingest semenDance ceremony takes place – boys are told that to become strong men they must “eat the penis” and ingest semen Initiates are taken off into the bushes to give fellatio to their elders for the first timeInitiates are taken off into the bushes to give fellatio to their elders for the first time

14 Stages of Initiation (cont.) Stage 2 Stage 2 - This stage is a continuation of Stage 1 - This stage is a continuation of Stage 1 - The boys continue to ingest as much semen as possible - The boys continue to ingest as much semen as possible - At the end of Stage 2, a great feast is held for the boys and men to celebrate - At the end of Stage 2, a great feast is held for the boys and men to celebrate Stage 3 - Transition into adolescence - Transition into adolescence - Boys are severely beaten and nose bled again - Boys are severely beaten and nose bled again - After this, they must capture a woman foe and kill an enemy warrior - After this, they must capture a woman foe and kill an enemy warrior - Adolescent must ingest his semen - Adolescent must ingest his semen

15 Stages of Initiation (cont.) Stage 4Stage 4 This occurs when the adolescent is marriedThis occurs when the adolescent is married There is a ceremony that praises his strength and growth, and is given a certain tree that symbolizes thisThere is a ceremony that praises his strength and growth, and is given a certain tree that symbolizes this Stage 5Stage 5 This is the stage where the man learns all about how to protect himself from his wifeThis is the stage where the man learns all about how to protect himself from his wife During intercourse, the man must put mint leaves in his nose and chew a specific branch to keep him from smelling the vaginal odors of his wifeDuring intercourse, the man must put mint leaves in his nose and chew a specific branch to keep him from smelling the vaginal odors of his wife After intercourse, he must cleanse himself by bathing in mudAfter intercourse, he must cleanse himself by bathing in mud During each menstruation, the man must nose bleed himself to cleanse himself from his wife’s pollutionDuring each menstruation, the man must nose bleed himself to cleanse himself from his wife’s pollution Stage 6Stage 6 This stage is where the man achieves true adulthoodThis stage is where the man achieves true adulthood Adulthood must be proven by having at least one child, possibly twoAdulthood must be proven by having at least one child, possibly two The man must remain far away from the woman and child during breastfeeding, and it is suggested to stay away from the child for the first few years of its lifeThe man must remain far away from the woman and child during breastfeeding, and it is suggested to stay away from the child for the first few years of its life Also the man can stop nose bleeding during this timeAlso the man can stop nose bleeding during this time Men are remind never to share their secrets with their wives or they will be castrated and killedMen are remind never to share their secrets with their wives or they will be castrated and killed

16 Guardians of the Flutes Flute represents their mystical pastFlute represents their mystical past Only men may guard the flutesOnly men may guard the flutes Only men may learn the stories behind their culture and the flutesOnly men may learn the stories behind their culture and the flutes Flute as phallic symbol?Flute as phallic symbol?

17 Social Roles (cont.) WomenWomen Have a strong, sensual mysteriousness about themHave a strong, sensual mysteriousness about them Men understand that a woman’s sexual essence is what allows pregnancyMen understand that a woman’s sexual essence is what allows pregnancy Menstrual blood shows reproductive power, but also can be damaging to menMenstrual blood shows reproductive power, but also can be damaging to men Take care of childrenTake care of children Teach girls how to be good wivesTeach girls how to be good wives Help with gardening and harvestingHelp with gardening and harvesting Daily house choresDaily house chores

18 Marriage When marriage occurs, the girl becomes a womanWhen marriage occurs, the girl becomes a woman This is her initiation into womanhoodThis is her initiation into womanhood This also accounts for stage 4 & 5 of the initiationThis also accounts for stage 4 & 5 of the initiation The brothers and father choose a bride for the adolescentThe brothers and father choose a bride for the adolescent They do not start living together until the bride has her first period, showing that she is ready to become a mother (16-18)They do not start living together until the bride has her first period, showing that she is ready to become a mother (16-18)

19 Let’s talk about Sex Sex is considered very dangerous for the Sambia menSex is considered very dangerous for the Sambia men It is necessary to have vaginal intercourse many times to create a babyIt is necessary to have vaginal intercourse many times to create a baby Some find it pleasurable, while others consider sex workSome find it pleasurable, while others consider sex work Masturbation is unheard of because it would be a waste of a valuable resourceMasturbation is unheard of because it would be a waste of a valuable resource Because women are often separated from their husbands, they sometimes target younger males to fulfill their desiresBecause women are often separated from their husbands, they sometimes target younger males to fulfill their desires Taking boys away from their homes for their initiation prevents this from occurringTaking boys away from their homes for their initiation prevents this from occurring

20 Childbirth The mother’s main contribution to the fetus is a home and her bloodThe mother’s main contribution to the fetus is a home and her blood Everything else comes from the father’s semen or the life-essence that is essential for a fetus to live and growEverything else comes from the father’s semen or the life-essence that is essential for a fetus to live and grow The mother’s strength to get through child birth comes from the strength in the semen that her husband gave herThe mother’s strength to get through child birth comes from the strength in the semen that her husband gave her Also, the baby will feed on breast milk, but it is said to come from all of the semen as wellAlso, the baby will feed on breast milk, but it is said to come from all of the semen as well

21 Acculturation?? No recent info found on SambiaNo recent info found on Sambia Nearby neighbors, the Yagwoia, have given up all of their initiation practices because of evangelistsNearby neighbors, the Yagwoia, have given up all of their initiation practices because of evangelists

22 Orientation Collectivist cultureCollectivist culture No strong political leader, but several head men (most likely the older, stronger, wiser men)No strong political leader, but several head men (most likely the older, stronger, wiser men) High uncertainty avoidanceHigh uncertainty avoidance Culture is seeped in tradition that dictates all parts of life: daily activities, rituals, etc.Culture is seeped in tradition that dictates all parts of life: daily activities, rituals, etc. Tight cultureTight culture Many rigid rules to follow, superstitions that could equal severe consequences if brokenMany rigid rules to follow, superstitions that could equal severe consequences if broken Masculine vs. Feminine cultureMasculine vs. Feminine culture

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24 References /The%20Sambia.htmhttp://faculty.mdc.edu/jmcnair/Joepages /The%20Sambia.htmhttp://faculty.mdc.edu/jmcnair/Joepages /The%20Sambia.htmhttp://faculty.mdc.edu/jmcnair/Joepages /The%20Sambia.htm Herdt, Gilbert. (2003). Secrecy and cultural reality: Utopian ideologies of the New Guinea men’s house.Herdt, Gilbert. (2003). Secrecy and cultural reality: Utopian ideologies of the New Guinea men’s house.


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