essay

The ritual meaning of homosexuality and pedophelia among the Kimam-Papuans of South Irian Jaya

ritualized homosexuality in melanesiaBerkley • Published In 1984 • Pages: 292-317

By: Serpenti, L. M..

Abstract
One striking feature of Kimam villages is the ubiquity of periodic ceremonials and magical rites in which older men engage in ritualized sexual intercourse with newly initiated boys and underage girls. This article discusses the relevance of these "ritualized homosexuality and pedophilia" practices by placing them in a broader cultural context, the most important being the structural duality of Kimam society, including deep-seated emic distinctions people make between the contrasting roles of women and men regarding life and death. The Kimam regard women as producers of life that is destined to die. By contrast, men produce life out of death, as revealed in men's ability to foster the productivity of yams through ritual. This power is reiterated in older men's claim to engineer men with socially-desired qualities out of young boys through the transfer of sperm from older men to young boys, either directly through sexual contact or by massaging their bodies with sperm previously collected with the help of young girls. These acts are justified as the desire to perpetuate the ritual, as well as to maintain masculine potency and power by distancing mature men from the impurity and danger of adult women and menstrual blood.
Subjects
Sexuality
Sexual intercourse
Premarital sex relations
Extramarital sex relations
Homosexuality
Regulation of marriage
Puberty and initiation
Organized ceremonial
Prayers and sacrifices
Cult of the dead
Ethnoanatomy
Division of labor by gender
Techniques of socialization
General character of religion
culture
Kimam
HRAF PubDate
2019
Region
Oceania
Sub Region
Melanesia
Document Type
essay
Evaluation
Ethnologist - 5
Analyst
Teferi Abate Adem ; 2018
Coverage Date
1955-1962
Coverage Place
Yos Sudarso (Kolepom) Island, Papua, Indonesia
Notes
Laurent Serpenti
LCCN
83018015
LCSH
Sociology--Homosexuality
Irian Jaya--Sociology--Sex roles
Irian Jaya--Sociology--Homosexuality
Irian Jaya--Religion--Rites and ceremonies