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close this bookTraditional Sex Education in Tanzania (WAZAZI, 1991, 82 p.)
close this folderChapter two THE ETHNIC COMMUNITIES
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentThe Chagga
View the documentThe Fipa
View the documentThe Gogo
View the documentThe Makonde
View the documentThe Makonde Malaba
View the documentThe Masai
View the documentThe Nyakyusa
View the documentThe Nyaturu
View the documentThe Sukuma
View the documentThe Zanzibaris
View the documentThe Zaramo

The Zaramo

The focus group was held in Dar es Salaam, in the Gongo la Mboto area of the Ilala district. The Zaramo are one of three principal ethnic communities in the area. All come from the same stock and moved to the city in the mid- 1940s from the coastal plain.


SEX PROFILE: THE ZANZIBARIS

Objectives

· sexual pleasure


· having children


· expansion of kinship/affinity network

Acceptable sexual activities

Before puberty

· touching own genitals

monitored by family

· touching mother’s breasts


· sucking mother’s nipples


· playing father/mother games


· forming same-sex peer groups

At puberty

· interest in opposite sex

monitored by family,

· joining initiation groups, learning appropriate sex roles

neighborhood elders

· private masturbation

At marriage

· courtship, wedding

monitored by family,

· sexual intercourse

neighborhood religion,

· pregnancy and childbirth

elders

· polygamy

Unacceptable sexual activities

Before puberty

· masturbation

monitored by family,

· foul language

neighborhood

· sexual intercourse

At puberty

· public masturbation

monitored by family,

· sexual intercourse

neighborhood elders

· foul language


· forming opposite-sex peer groups


· interest in watching animals mate

At marriage

· extramarital sex

monitored by family,

· prostitution

neighborhood religion

· sodomy


· abortion


· bestiality

Sanctions


Rewards

· praise, social acceptance


· material rewards (clothes, food, marriage to beautiful girl)

Punishments

· rebukes


· strokes


· social segregation


· application of pepper to genitals

The ideal marriage


Husband

· sexually energetic


· circumcized


· fertile


· productive and hardworking


· affectionate to his family, loyal to his people, his wife, and the neighborhood

Wife

· sexually engaging and attractive


· healthy, able to bear many healthy children


· hard-working, stays home and takes good care of household


· affectionate to husband, children, her own people, and her in-laws

Family size

· large

Sex status

· males superior to females

Evaluation

· young people become successful fathers/mothers

Effectiveness

· positive

Mode of education

· informal/nonformal

Attitude toward change

· hostile

The group had ten participants, five men and five women. They met for two-hour sessions three times a week.

Social organization. The Zaramo were patrilineal - the father headed the household. The Zaramo’s conical houses were clustered by family and clan. Especially prominent shelters were reserved for the men; the kitchen was the women’s domain.

Labor was divided according to sex. Men were considered strong, women weak. Men could make important decisions; women could only submit. Men fished, hunted, and fought, built houses, cleared farmland, herded domestic animals, and conducted such rituals as funerals and boys’ circumcisions. Women cooked, cared for children, plastered houses, drew water, made pottery and mats, performed girls’ initiations, and mourned at funerals. Even minor tasks performed by children were sex-specific - done by boys directed by men or by girls directed by women.

A handful of tasks could be done by either men or women. These included barter, harvesting, and ritual dancing at initiations, marriages, harvests, and funerals.

Social tasks were organized by the family, peer groups, clans, and the community’s council of elders.

Economic organization. The Zaramo hunted and fished along the coast; grew cassava, maize, beans, cashew nuts, coconuts, and rice; and traded with Arab and Indian merchants. Some were involved in the slave trade, mainly as intermediaries between the Arabs and ethnic communities farther inland. Many Zaramo converted to Islam and worked on Arab plantations as laborers - vibarua.

The economy was organized around the household, the neighborhood, and the clan.

Political organization. Families were grouped into homesteads and neighborhoods according to blood relationships on the father’s side. The oldest man in the family was regarded as its head.

Community affairs requiring broader powers than a clan leader’s - for example, securing the boundaries of the whole settlement - were entrusted to a higher leader known as jumbe or akida.

Sex life. The physical health of their children was important to the Zaramo - so important that a child born with a deformity would be killed or sent to live with distant relatives.

To prevent sexual misconduct and protect girls’ virginity, boys and girls were raised separately. At puberty, both sexes went through special rites of passage to prepare them for marriage and adult family life.

For boys, initiation required going into seclusion for a course of instruction in what a man should know - good manners; bravery; the secrets of life, marriage, and death; the responsibilities a man must carry; the customs and taboos a member of the tribe must observe.

As the time of marriage came closer, sexual matters were dealt with in more detail - in discussions, songs, riddles, stories, and dances. And finally, initiation culminated in circumcision, as a symbol of courage and the transition from youth to adulthood, when men must be ready to defend their land against enemies.

Girls’ initiations were even more elaborate. They, too, were sent into seclusion, under the supervision of a special group of elderly women-grandmothers or aunts. Solemn rituals celebrated maturity, fertility, and birth; ceremonial drinks and meals were served between various kinds of ritual dances. The girls were taught about male physiology, sexual intercourse, pregnancy, childbirth, and the responsibilities of a good wife and mother. And they were sternly warned to stay virgin till marriage. A bride found not to be a virgin would be disgraced, and the marriage could be dissolved.

The first sexual encounter between a man and his bride on the wedding night was crucial. It was closely supervised by two women, a grandmother of the bridegroom and a grandmother of the bride. They stood by as the bridegroom penetrated the bride; and depending on whether he did it with difficulty or ease, they declared the bride virgin or not. Then they continued to observe as the the bridegroom withdrew from his bride and ejaculated outside the vagina, so they could certify that he was virile and fertile. (To get the evidence, the grandmothers were authorized to physically pull the groom away from the bride if they had to.)


SEX PROFILE: THE ZARAMO

Objectives

· sexual pleasure


· perpetuation of the Zaramo community


· expansion of kinship/affinity network for


support and social services

Acceptabie sexual activities


Before puberty

· touching own genitals

monitored by family,

· pleasure in sucking mother’s breasts

neighborhood clan

· pleasure when being carried or washed


· playing father/mother games


· forming peer groups


· learning dances and stories


· learning parts of the body

At puberty

· interest in signs of sexual development

monitored by family, clan,

· joining in initiation rites

makumbi ngariba kungwi

· learning sex-related songs and techniques


· forming peer groups


· interest in opposite sex


· private masturbation


· wearing beads

At marriage

· fondling, kissing, intimate love-making

monitored by family, clan,

· wearing beads

elders

· courtship, marriage


· sexual intercourse


· polygamy

Unacceptable sexual activities

Before puberty

· preoccupation with own genitals

monitored by family, clan

· touching others’ genitals


· sexual intercourse


· watching animals or people mating


· foul language

At puberty

· public masturbation

monitored by family,

· intimate love-making

ngariba, and kungwi



· sexual intercourse


· obscene words

At marriage

· adultery

monitored by family, clan

· prostitution


· sodomy


· bestiality


· rape


· incest


· abortion

Sanctions


Rewards

· social acceptance

monitored by family, clan

· praise in songs


· material rewards (giving girl in marriage)

Punishments

· social disapproval, reprimands

monitored by family, those

· denial of privileges, fines

in charge of initiation

· corporal punishment, ostracism


· repeat initiation, divorce

The ideal marriage


Husband

· initiation graduate, circumcized, sexually skilled


· virile, fertile


· productive, able to keep family sheltered, fed, clothed


· affectionate to family, own relatives, and in-laws

Wife

· sexually exciting, initiation graduate, smart


· fertile


· hard-working in maintaining her household


· affectionate to her family, loyal to her people

Family size

· large

Sex status

· males superior to females

Evaluation

· young people become successful fathers/mothers

Effectiveness

· positive

Mode of education

· informal/nonformal