Serpenti, L. M.. The ritual meaning of homosexuality and pedophelia among the Kimam-Papuans of South Irian Jaya

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Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information The main body of the Publication Information page contains all the metadata that HRAF holds for that document.

Author: Author's name as listed in Library of Congress records

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

Published in: if part or section of a book or monograph Ritualized homosexuality in Melanesia, edited by Gilbert H. Herdt

Published By: Original publisher Ritualized homosexuality in Melanesia, edited by Gilbert H. Herdt Berkley: University of California Press. 1984. 292-317 p.

By line: Author's name as appearing in the actual publication Laurent Serpenti

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: Human Relations Area Files, 2019. Computer File

Culture: Culture name from the Outline of World Cultures (OWC) with the alphanumberic OWC identifier in parenthesis. Kimam (OJ82)

Subjects: Document-level OCM identifiers given by the anthropology subject indexers at HRAF Sexuality (831); Sexual intercourse (833); Premarital sex relations (836); Extramarital sex relations (837); Homosexuality (838); Regulation of marriage (582); Puberty and initiation (881); Organized ceremonial (796); Prayers and sacrifices (782); Cult of the dead (769); Ethnoanatomy (826); Division of labor by gender (462); Techniques of socialization (861); General character of religion (771);

Abstract: Brief abstract written by HRAF anthropologists who have done the subject indexing for the document 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.

Document Number: HRAF's in-house numbering system derived from the processing order of documents 2

Document ID: HRAF's unique document identifier. The first part is the OWC identifier and the second part is the document number in three digits. oj82-002

Document Type: May include journal articles, essays, collections of essays, monographs or chapters/parts of monographs. Essay

Language: Language that the document is written in English

Field Date: The date the researcher conducted the fieldwork or archival research that produced the document 1930-1962

Evaluation: In this alphanumeric code, the first part designates the type of person writing the document, e.g. Ethnographer, Missionary, Archaeologist, Folklorist, Linguist, Indigene, and so on. The second part is a ranking done by HRAF anthropologists based on the strength of the source material on a scale of 1 to 5, as follows: 1 - poor; 2 - fair; 3 - good, useful data, but not uniformly excellent; 4 - excellent secondary data; 5 - excellent primary data Ethnologist - 5

Analyst: The HRAF anthropologist who subject indexed the document and prepared other materials for the eHRAF culture/tradition collection. Teferi Abate Adem

Coverage Date: The date or dates that the information in the document pertains to (often not the same as the field date). 1955-1962

Coverage Place: Location of the research culture or tradition (often a smaller unit such as a band, community, or archaeological site) Yos Sudarso (Kolepom) Island, Papua, Indonesia.

LCSH: Library of Congress Subject Headings Sociology -- Homosexuality//Irian Jaya -- Sociology -- Sex roles//Irian Jaya -- Sociology -- Homosexuality// Irian Jaya -- Religion -- Rites and ceremonies


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