The Sambia: Ritual, Sexuality, and Change in Papua New Guinea by Gilbert Herdt

The Sambia: Ritual, Sexuality, and Change in Papua New Guinea by Gilbert Herdt

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“The Sambia: Ritual, Sexuality, and Change in Papua New Guinea” is a book written by Gilbert Herdt. It is based on a case study Herdt did during the 1970’s of the culture of the Sambia people. His study took place in Eastern Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea. He didn’t know much about their language, however through out his time there he was able to learn their language and customs. As he settled into their village, he mostly slept in the clubhouse with the other Nilangu villagers; however, eventually they built a house for him to stay at. Herdt had a great interest in gaining new knowledge about the Sambia culture.
His study primarily focuses on their views of sexuality and rituals. He came to discover the initiation of Sambia boys, which was also known as male insemination. Male insemination was essentially a ritual they did to symbolize the transition of boyhood to manhood. This process involved the transition of an older male’s semen being inserted into a younger male. Semen to the male culture of Sambia was very important because it stimulates the growth of masculine char...

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