₦airaland Forum

Welcome, Guest: Join Nairaland / LOGIN! / Trending / Recent / New
Stats: 1,898,732 members, 3,864,969 topics. Date: Friday, 20 October 2017 at 08:58 PM

Homosexuality In Pre-colonial Africa - Culture - Nairaland

Nairaland Forum / Nairaland / General / Culture / Homosexuality In Pre-colonial Africa (5879 Views)

The Architecture Of Pre-colonial Africa - Photos / The Fate Of Twins In Pre-colonial Igbo Nigeria / Architectural Wonders From Pre-colonial Africa - Pics (1) (2) (3) (4)

(0) (Reply) (Go Down)

Homosexuality In Pre-colonial Africa by pashaun(f): 8:43am On Apr 10, 2015
While much has been written about this dangerous turn of events, little has been written about its origins. Two trailblazing studies in the field – Boy Wives and Female Husbands edited by Stephen O Murray and Will Roscoe, and Heterosexual Africa? by Marc Epprecht – demolish the revisionist arguments about Africa's sexual history. From the 16th century onwards, homosexuality has been recorded in Africa by European missionaries, adventurers and officials who used it to reinforce ideas of African societies in need of Christian cleansing.

The Portuguese were among the first Europeans to explore the continent. They noted the range of gender relations in African societies and referred to the "unnatural damnation" of male-to-male sex in Congo. Andrew Battell, an English traveller in the 1590s, wrote this of the Imbangala of Angola: "They are beastly in their living, for they have men in women's apparel, whom they keep among their wives."

Transvestism occurred in many different places, including Madagascar and Ethiopia. Among the Pangwe people of present-day Cameroon and Gabon, homosexual intercourse was practised between males of all ages. It was believed to be a way to transmit wealth. The Nzima of Ghana had a tradition of adult men marrying each other, usually with an age difference of about 10 years. Similar to the pederasty of ancient Greece, Sudan's Zande tribe had a tradition of warriors marrying boys and paying a bride price, as they would for girl brides, to their parents. When the boy grew up, he too became a warrior and took a boy-wife.

In this same tribe lesbianism was practised in polygamous households. In the 18th century the Khoikhoi of South Africa used the word koetsire to describe men considered sexually receptive to other men, and soregus was the word they used for a friendship which involved same-sex masturbation.

Homosexuality is also recorded among the Siwa of Egypt. It was considered a boy's rite of passage in Benin, and woman-woman marriages involving a bride price existed in more than 30 African societies from Nigeria to Kenya to South Africa.

Advertisement

How far back can homosexuality be traced in Africa? You cannot argue with rock paintings. Thousands of years ago, the San people of Zimbabwe depicted anal sex between men. The truth is that, like everywhere else, African people have expressed a wide range of sexualities. Far from bringing homosexuality with them, Christian and Islamic forces fought to eradicate it. By challenging the continent's indigenous social and religious systems, they helped demonise and persecute homosexuality in Africa, paving the way for the taboos that prevail today.

The main character in my latest novel, Mr Loverman, is a 74-year-old black gay man, Barrington Walker. Married with two daughters, he has been in the closet for 50 years. Soon after the book was published, a young gay man emailed me from Nigeria expressing his fear that his life would turn out like Barrington's. I didn't know what to suggest except that, if he wanted to live openly and legally as homosexual, he had to leave his homeland. What else could I say?

Millions of gay people living in Africa face a similar choice. If they stay, they can either repress their natural sexuality or risk losing their liberty and their lives. The legacy of colonialism is alive and well. As another character in Mr Loverman says: "It's homophobia, not homosexuality, that was imported to Africa."

1 Like 1 Share

Re: Homosexuality In Pre-colonial Africa by pashaun(f): 8:43am On Apr 10, 2015
Re: Homosexuality In Pre-colonial Africa by Blakjewelry(m): 9:23am On Apr 10, 2015
pashaun:
While much has been written about this dangerous turn of events, little has been written about its origins. Two trailblazing studies in the field – Boy Wives and Female Husbands edited by Stephen O Murray and Will Roscoe, and Heterosexual Africa? by Marc Epprecht – demolish the revisionist arguments about Africa's sexual history. From the 16th century onwards, homosexuality has been recorded in Africa by European missionaries, adventurers and officials who used it to reinforce ideas of African societies in need of Christian cleansing.

The Portuguese were among the first Europeans to explore the continent. They noted the range of gender relations in African societies and referred to the "unnatural damnation" of male-to-male sex in Congo. Andrew Battell, an English traveller in the 1590s, wrote this of the Imbangala of Angola: "They are beastly in their living, for they have men in women's apparel, whom they keep among their wives."

Transvestism occurred in many different places, including Madagascar and Ethiopia. Among the Pangwe people of present-day Cameroon and Gabon, homosexual intercourse was practised between males of all ages. It was believed to be a way to transmit wealth. The Nzima of Ghana had a tradition of adult men marrying each other, usually with an age difference of about 10 years. Similar to the pederasty of ancient Greece, Sudan's Zande tribe had a tradition of warriors marrying boys and paying a bride price, as they would for girl brides, to their parents. When the boy grew up, he too became a warrior and took a boy-wife.

In this same tribe lesbianism was practised in polygamous households. In the 18th century the Khoikhoi of South Africa used the word koetsire to describe men considered sexually receptive to other men, and soregus was the word they used for a friendship which involved same-sex masturbation.

Homosexuality is also recorded among the Siwa of Egypt. It was considered a boy's rite of passage in Benin, and woman-woman marriages involving a bride price existed in more than 30 African societies from Nigeria to Kenya to South Africa.

Advertisement

How far back can homosexuality be traced in Africa? You cannot argue with rock paintings. Thousands of years ago, the San people of Zimbabwe depicted anal sex between men. The truth is that, like everywhere else, African people have expressed a wide range of sexualities. Far from bringing homosexuality with them, Christian and Islamic forces fought to eradicate it. By challenging the continent's indigenous social and religious systems, they helped demonise and persecute homosexuality in Africa, paving the way for the taboos that prevail today.

The main character in my latest novel, Mr Loverman, is a 74-year-old black gay man, Barrington Walker. Married with two daughters, he has been in the closet for 50 years. Soon after the book was published, a young gay man emailed me from Nigeria expressing his fear that his life would turn out like Barrington's. I didn't know what to suggest except that, if he wanted to live openly and legally as homosexual, he had to leave his homeland. What else could I say?

Millions of gay people living in Africa face a similar choice. If they stay, they can either repress their natural sexuality or risk losing their liberty and their lives. The legacy of colonialism is alive and well. As another character in Mr Loverman says: "It's homophobia, not homosexuality, that was imported to Africa."


As much as I don't want discuss the issue homosexuality, because there are many angle to argue for or against it, trying to paint the picture Africa having practice it in the past is totally wrong. This not about religion, it is about culture and traditional values, I bet if you are caught in the act in a ancient Nigeria setting you be sacrificed and your blood use to appease the gods.

3 Likes

Re: Homosexuality In Pre-colonial Africa by mkpakanaodogwu(m): 9:57am On Apr 10, 2015
Blakjewelry:

As much as I don't want discuss the issue homosexuality, because there are many angle to argue for or against it, trying to paint the picture Africa having practice it in the past is totally wrong. This not about religion, it is about culture and traditional values, I bet if you are caught in the act in a ancient Nigeria setting you be sacrificed and your blood use to appease the gods.
gbam

1 Like

Re: Homosexuality In Pre-colonial Africa by Nobody: 10:24am On Apr 10, 2015
One aspect of such relations as I know in the Kenyan Kamba community When a widow grows old without a child or when she or her husband cannot get children, she can "marry" a younger woman who is given a lot of "freedom" to bring children to the home, which they do with outsiders. The children become bonafide members of the family and belong to the person taking that "wife." It's not really homosexual in nature.
Re: Homosexuality In Pre-colonial Africa by Nobody: 10:54am On Apr 10, 2015
muafrika:
One aspect of such relations as I know in the Kenyan Kamba community When a widow grows old without a child or when she or her husband cannot get children, she can "marry" a younger woman who is given a lot of "freedom" to bring children to the home, which they do with outsiders. The children become bonafide members of the family and belong to the person taking that "wife." It's not really homosexual in nature.

Yes, it is not homosexual at all. Some Igbo communities had a similar tradition.

1 Like

Re: Homosexuality In Pre-colonial Africa by Blakjewelry(m): 11:45am On Apr 10, 2015
muafrika:
One aspect of such relations as I know in the Kenyan Kamba community When a widow grows old without a child or when she or her husband cannot get children, she can "marry" a younger woman who is given a lot of "freedom" to bring children to the home, which they do with outsiders. The children become bonafide members of the family and belong to the person taking that "wife." It's not really homosexual in nature.
That is accepted in some customs and it is not homosexual as the woman who married the other woman has no sexual relationship with the older woman, it is more like modern day surrogate mother
Re: Homosexuality In Pre-colonial Africa by Nobody: 11:48am On Apr 10, 2015
Blakjewelry:

That is accepted in some customs and it is not homosexual as the woman who married the other woman has no sexual relationship with the older woman, it is more like modern day surrogate mother

Surrogacy! That's it! I've been looking for a modern practice to liken it to.
Re: Homosexuality In Pre-colonial Africa by ezeagu(m): 2:14pm On Apr 10, 2015
Blakjewelry:

As much as I don't want discuss the issue homosexuality, because there are many angle to argue for or against it, trying to paint the picture Africa having practice it in the past is totally wrong. This not about religion, it is about culture and traditional values, I bet if you are caught in the act in a ancient Nigeria setting you be sacrificed and your blood use to appease the gods.

But you're not being objective at all, you've just accused the original poster of what? Making all of this up. Who are the Yan Daudu if so.

You guy's need to use your brains.

Radoillo:


Yes, it is not homosexual at all. Some Igbo communities had a similar tradition.

It's still same sex marriage, it's like people eating placenta, it's still cannibalism.

1 Like

Re: Homosexuality In Pre-colonial Africa by Nobody: 2:56pm On Apr 10, 2015
ezeagu:


But you're not being objective at all, you've just accused the original poster of what? Making all of this up. Who are the Yan Daudu if so.

You guy's need to use your brains.



It's still same sex marriage, it's like people eating placenta, it's still cannibalism.

Of course it qualifies as same-sex marriage. But it cannot be said to be a homosexual relationship since the two women involved do not necessarily have to be sexually intimate.
Re: Homosexuality In Pre-colonial Africa by ezeagu(m): 3:00pm On Apr 10, 2015
Radoillo:


Of course it qualifies as same-sex marriage. But it cannot be said to be a homosexual relationship since the two women involved do not necessarily have to be sexually intimate.

True, but the two are often attacked as one in the same.
Re: Homosexuality In Pre-colonial Africa by Nobody: 3:24pm On Apr 10, 2015
ezeagu:


True, but the two are often attacked as one in the same.

In today's world, though, they almost always go together.
Re: Homosexuality In Pre-colonial Africa by Danrizzle: 8:22pm On Apr 10, 2015
Whoever wrote this, is a maad, sexually perverse and derailed organism. So even at this age, micro-organisms such as this, still show off their racist lunacy publicly.
Re: Homosexuality In Pre-colonial Africa by Blakjewelry(m): 12:13am On Apr 11, 2015
ezeagu:


But you're not being objective at all, you've just accused the original poster of what? Making all of this up. Who are the Yan Daudu if so.

You guy's need to use your brains.
I have nothing against the poster, what I am against the writer of some the work the poster copied from, the just did not put things in the right prospective just to justify their assertion. Besides the yan dada are not homosexual, they are men with female tendencies and nature and they dress like women though some of them are gay
Re: Homosexuality In Pre-colonial Africa by pashaun(f): 10:38pm On Apr 11, 2015
Blakjewelry:

I have nothing ainst the poster, what I am against the writer of some the work the poster copied from, the just did not put things in the right prospective just to justify their assertion. Besides the yan dada are not homosexual, they are men with female tendencies and nature and they dress like women though some of them are gay


Bene, Bulu, Fang, Jaunde, Mokuk, Mwele, Ntum and Pangwe in present-day Gabon and Cameroon, homosexual intercourse was known as bian nkû”ma– a medicine for wealth which was transmitted through sexual activity between men.

Similarly in Uganda, amongst the Nilotico Lango, men who assumed ‘‘alternative gender status” were known as mukodo dako. They were treated as women and were permitted to marry other men.

King Mwanga II, the Baganda monarch, was widely reported to have engaged in sexual relations with his male subjects.

In pre-colonial Benin, homosexuality was seen as a phase that boys passed through and grew out of.
Re: Homosexuality In Pre-colonial Africa by lepasharon(f): 11:53pm On Apr 11, 2015
Nigerians wont like this post. No matter how you try to deny it, the fact is homesexuality has existed in every culture,nationality,race and still does.

1 Like

Re: Homosexuality In Pre-colonial Africa by fuzzyrambler(m): 9:06am On Apr 12, 2015
lepasharon:
Nigerians wont like this post. No matter how you try to deny it, the fact is homesexuality has existed in every culture,nationality,race and still does.

Not only that, even in certain animals
Re: Homosexuality In Pre-colonial Africa by Blakjewelry(m): 2:45pm On Apr 12, 2015
pashaun:



Bene, Bulu, Fang, Jaunde, Mokuk, Mwele, Ntum and Pangwe in present-day Gabon and Cameroon, homosexual intercourse was known as bian nkû”ma– a medicine for wealth which was transmitted through sexual activity between men.

Similarly in Uganda, amongst the Nilotico Lango, men who assumed ‘‘alternative gender status” were known as mukodo dako. They were treated as women and were permitted to marry other men.

King Mwanga II, the Baganda monarch, was widely reported to have engaged in sexual relations with his male subjects.

In pre-colonial Benin, homosexuality was seen as a phase that boys passed through and grew out of.

Most of these claims are dug just to prove a point. Google each of the words you will find out it is not a popular or acceptable culture in ancient African setting. If is an argument concerning if people have such natural tendencies, it will be understandable because as I said before there are alot of argument for or against the issue of homosexuality and one of such argument is that they did not choose what they are rather they were born that way. If we were to look at it from that angle, then they are must have existed even in Africa but would not have shown it because of the prevailing belief system, but recently due to the new freedom of expression, they are coming out of their shell but that is not to say that was practice practice in ancient Africa
Re: Homosexuality In Pre-colonial Africa by ikennaf1(m): 2:20am On Aug 07, 2015
Every shameful thing is blamed on Africa. HIV/AIDS for instance. http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/esp_sociopol_depopu30.htm
Re: Homosexuality In Pre-colonial Africa by cbravo4: 12:48am On Apr 08

(0) (Reply)

What Is The Traditional Music From Your Town/state Like? / 1904 British Punitive Expedition Against The Obolo (andoni) People & Their God / Igbo Men And Their Mama

(Go Up)

Sections: politics (1) business autos (1) jobs (1) career education (1) romance computers phones travel sports fashion health
religion celebs tv-movies music-radio literature webmasters programming techmarket

Links: (0) (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9)

Nairaland - Copyright © 2005 - 2017 Oluwaseun Osewa. All rights reserved. See How To Advertise. 128
Disclaimer: Every Nairaland member is solely responsible for anything that he/she posts or uploads on Nairaland.