I’m putting this video out there to spark reflection, male self-awareness and discussion. In no way am I attempting to condone or promote the traditions of this tribal culture or pass any judgments, I’m just putting it out there. I believe this video was recorded in the early to mid 1970’s.
Even though times have vastly changed in many parts of PNG due to Christian influences, from my readings, the traditional male initiation rituals of tribal Papua New Guinea center on ushering boys into manhood. Ingestion of breast milk is replaced by ingestion of semen. The logic behind this is that breast milk comes from a woman, therefore feminizing a male if ingested for too long and weakening him. Being that semen comes from a man and considered the “Life Force”, ingesting it will cause a male to be more masculine and strong. This video displays a particular adult male bonding ritual in which semen is applied upon the face and skin.
So here is what I would hope the take away and discussion can lean towards; Papua New Guinea’s tribal or rural societies from the outside looking in is one that we would consider an open male homosexual society. What we have defined as “homosexual” is the norm. Do you think this is a good thing or bad thing?
Outside of the context of this video, traditional male initiations (as it relates to a ceremony or ritual transitioning young males into adult manhood, facilitated by male elders) are virtually non-existent in western societies and cultures. Some examples of traditional male initiations would be true male circumcision rituals (around puberty) or hunting and survival rituals. Could this be a reason or play a part as to why many males do not embody the role of protectors and providers; due to a lack of elder male mentors and rights of passage in many communities? Is this a possible reason that boys and young males are more feminized?
Feel free to share your thoughts concerning my inquiries or anything you feel will add to the conversation.
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