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ANTA02H3 (143)
Chapter 4

The Trobrianders - Chapter 4.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Robert Brym

The Trobrianders Chapter 4: Youth and Sexuality Waiting and Watching  Giving (caring, generosity) communicates a person’s plans and desires and attempts to control others by forming a debt  obligation to return a gift, maybe bigger, or sometimes no gift at all.  Feelings can’t be expressed publicly (harsh words  fights), giving gifts used instead, such as yams.  Thoughts about gifts are private, waiting and watching is part of deducing intention = control  Young people use their sexuality as gifts to control others, its “written on their bodies” Adolescent Sexuality  Their encounters don't last long  adolescent girls live in a house & boys in one = freedom for sex  During adolescence, youth are watched by older villagers who evaluate their potential as productive adults BUT they have great freedom for their own endeavors.  Known as small boys/girls till 30 years old  Known as adults when married with children and committed to economic and political endeavors  Youth planning for sexual encounters such as love messages involving sexual metaphors. If a girl and boy make eye contact, they are interested in sex  male & females are both dominant.  Many events allow youth interaction, even during mourning  bright clothes, laugh, tease.  Disapproval of being too proud about one’s beauty  over competitive. BUT magic spells in secret are approved of.  Compliments must be returned so one doesn’t become too proud.  Modesty: winners pretend they lost, host team always wins, yam competition winners say modest phrases “I’m only a small boy, I don’t know about yams”. OR fights can break out  Sexual attraction  man gives woman betel nuts & tobacco + other gifts to continue the sexual bond BUT a woman can tease the man and not give in sexually  love magic Seductionwith Magic  Access to magic spells is limited since traditional spells used NO new ones  Youth give their older kin food, tobacco and money in large sums to learn all the magic they know. Youth learn a few lines at a time, so often spells are incomplete and lost when older kin die.  Married women learn spells from lovers from another island who wants to give her more. On kula trips, they buy spells. Today, literate people record spells and keep them hidden and locked up.  Beauty magic used on coconutoils to heighten visual and olfactory effects of the body creating erotic feelings  on skin, flowers, herbs for the body decoration  Beauty magic used while a white shell is passed over the person’s face to take on the shell’s qualities.  used by women on their brother’s children NOT young people.  When people reach mid-teens relationships get more serious which lead to marriage  Gifts and beauty magic not enough for marriage  person’s mind is inviolate (unchanged) thus powerful spells are practiced by some adults who are paid for the service BUT it can destroy one’s mind (no eating, listening, just waiting for love)  powerful spells are cast on betel or tobacco  Spells may fail: not strong enough not paid enough, on purpose for more payment, or chanting was not long enough. In all cases, more payments = success.  Spells may becounter-acted: person’s longing for love is too much other spells stop it, woman refuse betel nut containing love magic  Adolescent lovemaking allows them to enter adult world without problems as they learn to influence others without letting others gain control of oneself. Choosing One Lover  When young women and men meet repeatedly, while rejecting affairs, it is believed strong love magic is used and the relationship is
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