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Thread: Homosexuality in Ancient Cultures

  1. #1
    StarGyul
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    Homosexuality in Ancient Cultures

    I don't know where this thread belongs really*

    But I was wondering...
    I know that homosexuality was a big part of the ancient Greek and Roman culture, but I've never read anything about African culture

    So was homosexuality as prevalent in other ancient cultures as it was in the ancient Greek and Roman culture?

    Was it a religious thing? Were the women allowed to engage in homosexual behavior?

    I've read a couple things about India, Native Americans, etc but nothing about Africa.

  2. #2
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    L O S T .'s Avatar . is offline
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    possible
    just may not have been THAT accepted
    as in greek and roman

  3. #3
    Temptress Taina's Avatar Taina is offline
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    I found this

    Homosexuality in Prehistoric Africa
    Our knowledge of homosexuality in prehistoric African cultures is limited by the late-Middle Age European views of Africans, of homosexuality, and of course, the European reason for being in sub-Saharan Africa in the first place - the slave trade. Among the earliest references to it are some of the records of the Inquisition in Brazil. From the Denunciations of Bahia, (1591-1593) comes this thoroughly racist reference to it:

    "Francisco Manicongo, a cobbler's apprentice known among the slaves as a sodomite for 'performing the duties of a female' and for 'refusing to wear the men's clothes which the master gave him.' Francisco's accuser added that in Angola and the Congo in which he had wandered much and of which he had much experience, it is customary among the pagan negros to wear a loincloth with the ends in front which leaves an opening in the rear... this custom being adopted by the sodomitic negros who serve as passive women in the abominable sin. These passives are called jimbandaa in the language of Angola and the Congo, which means passive sodomite. The accuser claimed to have seen Francisco Manicongo "wearing a loincloth such as passive sodomites wear in his land of the Congo and immediately rebuked him." (quoted by J. Treveisan, Perverts in Paradise, London, 1986. Elipses are his.)
    We can see from such references, that homosexuality was present in Africa from at least the earliest of European contact, and without much doubt, from long before. It wasn't just central Africa, either. While European proprieties made such graphic description of African homosexualities uncommon in their descriptions of Africa, there are enough references to it to know that it was indeed present, and even used as a justification for considering African cultures primitive enough to justify slavery.

    Among the last African cultures to be subjugated by Europeans, the Hausa peoples of northern Nigeria and the surrounding countries offer interesting examples of homosexuality among Islmaicized peoples of Africa. Conquered by the British only in 1904, they were studied extensively by British ethnographers within a decade and a half of the arrival of the British - having experienced very limited contact with Europeans in the meantime. These ethnographers included sexual practices, including homosexuality, in their survey. Thus, they give us a unique glimpse into a nearly pristine African Islamic culture.

    The Hausa people have terms in their language that are used to describe homosexuals. Two terms are common, 'yan dauda, which is usually translated as "homosexual" or "transvestite" and 'dan dauda, which translates as a homosexual "wife." The 'yan dauda in Hausaland engange in stereotypical professions, much as marginalized gay men in the west often do. In Hausaland, they are often engaged in the sex trade - both as male prostitutes and as 'procurers' for female prostitutes. In the latter role, they do not behave as 'pimps' do in the west, maintaining 'stables' of female prostitutes under their subjugation, but rather simply as go-betweens, arranging, for a fee, liasons for men seeking the commercial charms of female prostitutes. In this role, they often engage as male prostitutes themselves when the opportunity arises.

    Among other African tribes, homosexual behavior among premarriage adolescents is common and is not even considered to be sex, since it does not involve procreative potential. In Camaroon, for example, homosexual acts as late as age 17 are considered innocent, not being "true" sexual relations. Such youth consider themselves virgins at marriage, even though they may have considerable homosexual experience in both roles. There are many stories among the Pangwe of Camaroon of men who hate women and prefer the company of men even when offered a large brideprice, of men who court other men, etc. That these behaviors existed within this tribe prior to European contact is evidenced by the richness and number of these stories.

    In Zimbabwe, a nation racked by recent homophobic pogroms instituted by its viciously homophobic dictator, Robert Mugabe, there has historically been little known about homosexual behavior among peoples present prior to European contact. Some ethnographers have dishonestly attempted to show that homosexual behavior is a recent innovation encouraged by Europeans to serve their capital interests, in housing large numbers of male Africans together in barracks to serve as labor in the mines.

    The reality is that homosexuality existed in Zimbabwe long prior to European contact, just like it did anywhere else in Africa. We know this because the San people had the indiscretion to record their group anal sexual intercourse on rock paintings that date back thousands of years.

    The Bantu-speaking peoples of the plateau country were more circumspect, but have admitted to ethnographers that homosexual contact did occur, and was expected of pre-marriage adolescent males.

    Court documents from the colonial era from Zimbabwe and South Africa (1920 and 1917 respectively) indicate that among both the Mazoe and Ndebele peoples of Zimbabwe and South Africa respectively, a fine of one beast was levied against persons attempting to engage in sodomy by traditional rulers in pre-colonial times from both tribes. This fine equates to a misdemeanor - evidence that it was not heavily frowned upon, nor particularly uncommon.

    Colonial court records also show that prosecution for male homosexuality at the onset of colonial rule amounted to 1.5 percent of criminal cases in Zimbabwe, eventually declining to near zero, while prosecutions for heterosexual crimes, such as indecent assault, rape, etc., rose from almost nothing to significant portions of the criminal dockets. It must be noted that because the 1.5 percent represented unwilling participants in the criminal process, the actual extent of homosexual behavior was certainly much greater, since only those caught in flagrante delicto, those prosecuted with amicus, or those accused by jilted lovers or others with an axe to grind, represent the criminal numbers we see in the records. The actual numbers were certainly much higher. In more than 90 percent of cases, the defendant was an African male accused of assualting another African male or boy. Cases involving Europeans were much more rare.

    The notion that this is "a white-man's disease of recent origin" is made laughable by an even cursory examination of the criminal records of colonial Zimbabwe and South Africa. A close qualitative analysis of the early colonial trial transcripts shows that there was often shared property resulting from long-standing cohabitation by the defendant and his accusor. That the courts had to sort out the property details shows that these men had often considered themselves in a de facto marriage prior to their dispute.

    Contrary to Mugabe's and other Afrocentrists' assertions, analysis of the colonial court cases shows that the rate of prosecution for homosexual behaviors was highest among the more indigenous peoples (Shona, 17% and Ndebele, 16%), and least among the "industrialized migrants" from elsewhere (about 3% each for Xhosa, Basotho and Zulu). Presumably the latter had simply learned better how to avoid the white man's justice.


    http://www.bidstrup.com/phobiahistory.htm

    I don't know how true this info is...but hopefully it will make you want to research the topic more if you are curious about it.
    Last edited by Taina; 07-21-2006 at 09:12 AM.

  4. #4
    StarGyul
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    Thanx Taina.

  5. #5
    Kiz
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taina
    I found this

    Homosexuality in Prehistoric Africa
    Our knowledge of homosexuality in prehistoric African cultures is limited by the late-Middle Age European views of Africans, of homosexuality, and of course, the European reason for being in sub-Saharan Africa in the first place - the slave trade. Among the earliest references to it are some of the records of the Inquisition in Brazil. From the Denunciations of Bahia, (1591-1593) comes this thoroughly racist reference to it:

    "Francisco Manicongo, a cobbler's apprentice known among the slaves as a sodomite for 'performing the duties of a female' and for 'refusing to wear the men's clothes which the master gave him.' Francisco's accuser added that in Angola and the Congo in which he had wandered much and of which he had much experience, it is customary among the pagan negros to wear a loincloth with the ends in front which leaves an opening in the rear... this custom being adopted by the sodomitic negros who serve as passive women in the abominable sin. These passives are called jimbandaa in the language of Angola and the Congo, which means passive sodomite. The accuser claimed to have seen Francisco Manicongo "wearing a loincloth such as passive sodomites wear in his land of the Congo and immediately rebuked him." (quoted by J. Treveisan, Perverts in Paradise, London, 1986. Elipses are his.)
    We can see from such references, that homosexuality was present in Africa from at least the earliest of European contact, and without much doubt, from long before. It wasn't just central Africa, either. While European proprieties made such graphic description of African homosexualities uncommon in their descriptions of Africa, there are enough references to it to know that it was indeed present, and even used as a justification for considering African cultures primitive enough to justify slavery.

    Among the last African cultures to be subjugated by Europeans, the Hausa peoples of northern Nigeria and the surrounding countries offer interesting examples of homosexuality among Islmaicized peoples of Africa. Conquered by the British only in 1904, they were studied extensively by British ethnographers within a decade and a half of the arrival of the British - having experienced very limited contact with Europeans in the meantime. These ethnographers included sexual practices, including homosexuality, in their survey. Thus, they give us a unique glimpse into a nearly pristine African Islamic culture.

    The Hausa people have terms in their language that are used to describe homosexuals. Two terms are common, 'yan dauda, which is usually translated as "homosexual" or "transvestite" and 'dan dauda, which translates as a homosexual "wife." The 'yan dauda in Hausaland engange in stereotypical professions, much as marginalized gay men in the west often do. In Hausaland, they are often engaged in the sex trade - both as male prostitutes and as 'procurers' for female prostitutes. In the latter role, they do not behave as 'pimps' do in the west, maintaining 'stables' of female prostitutes under their subjugation, but rather simply as go-betweens, arranging, for a fee, liasons for men seeking the commercial charms of female prostitutes. In this role, they often engage as male prostitutes themselves when the opportunity arises.

    Among other African tribes, homosexual behavior among premarriage adolescents is common and is not even considered to be sex, since it does not involve procreative potential. In Camaroon, for example, homosexual acts as late as age 17 are considered innocent, not being "true" sexual relations. Such youth consider themselves virgins at marriage, even though they may have considerable homosexual experience in both roles. There are many stories among the Pangwe of Camaroon of men who hate women and prefer the company of men even when offered a large brideprice, of men who court other men, etc. That these behaviors existed within this tribe prior to European contact is evidenced by the richness and number of these stories.

    In Zimbabwe, a nation racked by recent homophobic pogroms instituted by its viciously homophobic dictator, Robert Mugabe, there has historically been little known about homosexual behavior among peoples present prior to European contact. Some ethnographers have dishonestly attempted to show that homosexual behavior is a recent innovation encouraged by Europeans to serve their capital interests, in housing large numbers of male Africans together in barracks to serve as labor in the mines.

    The reality is that homosexuality existed in Zimbabwe long prior to European contact, just like it did anywhere else in Africa. We know this because the San people had the indiscretion to record their group anal sexual intercourse on rock paintings that date back thousands of years.

    The Bantu-speaking peoples of the plateau country were more circumspect, but have admitted to ethnographers that homosexual contact did occur, and was expected of pre-marriage adolescent males.

    Court documents from the colonial era from Zimbabwe and South Africa (1920 and 1917 respectively) indicate that among both the Mazoe and Ndebele peoples of Zimbabwe and South Africa respectively, a fine of one beast was levied against persons attempting to engage in sodomy by traditional rulers in pre-colonial times from both tribes. This fine equates to a misdemeanor - evidence that it was not heavily frowned upon, nor particularly uncommon.

    Colonial court records also show that prosecution for male homosexuality at the onset of colonial rule amounted to 1.5 percent of criminal cases in Zimbabwe, eventually declining to near zero, while prosecutions for heterosexual crimes, such as indecent assault, rape, etc., rose from almost nothing to significant portions of the criminal dockets. It must be noted that because the 1.5 percent represented unwilling participants in the criminal process, the actual extent of homosexual behavior was certainly much greater, since only those caught in flagrante delicto, those prosecuted with amicus, or those accused by jilted lovers or others with an axe to grind, represent the criminal numbers we see in the records. The actual numbers were certainly much higher. In more than 90 percent of cases, the defendant was an African male accused of assualting another African male or boy. Cases involving Europeans were much more rare.

    The notion that this is "a white-man's disease of recent origin" is made laughable by an even cursory examination of the criminal records of colonial Zimbabwe and South Africa. A close qualitative analysis of the early colonial trial transcripts shows that there was often shared property resulting from long-standing cohabitation by the defendant and his accusor. That the courts had to sort out the property details shows that these men had often considered themselves in a de facto marriage prior to their dispute.

    Contrary to Mugabe's and other Afrocentrists' assertions, analysis of the colonial court cases shows that the rate of prosecution for homosexual behaviors was highest among the more indigenous peoples (Shona, 17% and Ndebele, 16%), and least among the "industrialized migrants" from elsewhere (about 3% each for Xhosa, Basotho and Zulu). Presumably the latter had simply learned better how to avoid the white man's justice.


    http://www.bidstrup.com/phobiahistory.htm

    I don't know how true this info is...but hopefully it will make you want to research the topic more if you are curious about it.

    Lawd! dat too long....

  6. #6
    Temptress Taina's Avatar Taina is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by StarGyul
    Thanx Taina.


    any time


    Kiz the info in the site is even LONGER

  7. #7
    Happiness Consultant Jahpikne's Avatar Jahpikne is offline
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    if you ever watch the Movie "Alexander" the version with Angela Jolie it shows pretty much how the greek brought there Homo ways into Africa. It was the first time the European actually conquered the Africans and the world has never been the same for us.

  8. #8
    StarGyul
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jahpikne
    if you ever watch the Movie "Alexander" the version with Angela Jolie it shows pretty much how the greek brought there Homo ways into Africa. It was the first time the European actually conquered the Africans and the world has never been the same for us.
    But supposedly homosexuality was already taking place before the Europeans came over

  9. #9
    Registered User herbaltees's Avatar herbaltees is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by StarGyul
    I don't know where this thread belongs really*

    But I was wondering...
    I know that homosexuality was a big part of the ancient Greek and Roman culture, but I've never read anything about African culture

    So was homosexuality as prevalent in other ancient cultures as it was in the ancient Greek and Roman culture?

    Was it a religious thing? Were the women allowed to engage in homosexual behavior?

    I've read a couple things about India, Native Americans, etc but nothing about Africa.
    I read somwhere that homosexuality in ancient african civilizations was seen as being divine. For instance people thought anyone could be strictly man or woman, but to be both... was suppossed to be "godly"...

  10. #10
    Salsero de pura cepa Otorongo's Avatar Otorongo is offline
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    more

    Africa

    But is homosexuality really a European phenomenon? Let's start with a look at President Mugabe's own country, Zimbabwe. In traditional Zimbabwean law, homosexuality was not mentioned at all. Which does of course not mean that it didn't exist, rather that it was not considered a threat to society, and thus largely accepted and tolerated. Only under colonist rule, and the man whose name the country had to adopt, Cecil Rhodes and Rhodesia, were laws against homosexual practices introduced, which already supports the notion of homosexuality being imported by the colonizers. The situation in the country today is that this law still exists, but "offenders" are never prosecuted, unless they have been apprehended on other charges, in which case homosexual activity can be used to induce a harder sentence. As mentioned previously, both black and white gays in modern Zimbabwe band together to form a united gay rights front, with the aim of obtaining western-style gay rights and recognition (Coutinho 1993).

    But let's stay focused on the traditional attitude in Africa. In the Hausa tribes of present day Nigeria and Niger, the word "'yan daudu" was used to describe men who acted like women. They would for instance perform traditional female chores, such as cooking and selling food, use female names for themselves and eachother, speak in high pitch female voices, and indeed engage in sexual and romantic relationships with "real" men. They build extensive networks among themselves within the Hausa people, extending as far as into Sudan. They consider eachother as "girlfriends", and would never engage in sexual activity with eachother. These men do however not make a conscious effort to look like women; many of them wear a moustache and short hair. Marriage and procreation are considered normal goals in life, regardless of sexual orientation, and so these 'yan daudu typically marry and conceive offspring. However, they may still choose to live away from their "families", and only visit occasionally, bringing gifts, money, or food. In their daily lives, they earn their keep through selling food on the streets, prostitution, or procuring. The latter two may sound harsh, but often translate into a close, committed relationship with the "customers", and often a 'yan daudu will have a steady client, to whom he will refer as a "boyfriend", and also live in a relationship-like situation with. inclusive of sex, friendship, and exchange of money and gifts. The 'yan daudu are very popular as entertainers at parties, since they are very good at singing, dancing, and performing (Geschiere 1994).

    In today's West Africa, sex between men, even same-sex relationships, are widely known of and accepted. It is however never referred to as "homosexuality", since the word has connotations of passivity, transvestism, and deviance. Since it is considered normal in Africa to marry and procreate, even young gay men assume that they will do the same. Failure to marry by a certain age is considered failure in life. As long as the family is not neglected, the man can continue his relationships with other men. Although religion is very important, people tend to take a pragmatic approach to the rules it imposes, and national laws often don't dictate people's private lives (Potman 1993).

    Interestingly, a Tanzanian magazine dedicated an entire issue to the question of homosexuality. All the contributing writers were very negative, but instead of blaming it on western society, they claimed that it was imported to Tanzania by the Arabs (Geschiere 1994)! Understandably so, that country has been subjected to more Arab influences than European. For instance, African slaves were shipped to Arab countries, where even Islam permitted the owners to sexually exploit the slaves, men and women alike. Islamic law further permitted the slave owners also ownership of the slaves' sexual organs (Van Gelder 1993)! To make a natural transition to the next continent discussed, Asia, I will relate the attitudes of the Moroccan population, Arabs living in Africa.

    The European image of the Arab world is full of sex, sin, fairy tales, mysticism, and many other things that Christian values have curbed in Europe. Also Islam, being anything but more permissive than Christianity, has had a major impact on the attitudes and behavior of people. The general attitude towards homosexual activity in Morocco is that it is simply done, not talked about. Identifying as a homosexual is shameful, as is taking the passive role during anal intercourse. Such people are no longer considered men, nut something weak, inferior, sick. Younger boys are often penetrated by older boys to manifest the difference in power and strength. Male children playing sexual games are tolerated as going through a phase, but same-sex sex beyond adolescence is severely punished by the father of the family. The young man is then considered to bring shame on the entire family. To maintain their maleness while engaging in same-sex sex, a man has to always be the active partner, and preferably also receive some money or small gift from the other partner, even if only of symbolic value. This removes the stigma of having had pleasure from the encounter, and implies that the other party was the exploited one, and exploitation is considered manly. Transvestites do exist in Morocco. They dress like women, keep their male names but refer to themselves as women, remain passive in sex, but many of them eventually marry (Van Gelder 1993).
    also

    Homosexuality in “Traditional” Sub-Saharan Africa and Contemporary South Africa

    also

    coca-cola, macdonalds and homosexuals?
    Is homosexuality African? If you inclined to believe Mugabe, Nujoma and some other Africans, homosexuality is yet another one of those perfidious Western vices. Yet there are many indications that even in Africa, homosexuality is as old as mankind itself. But the prison sentences do come from the West.

    The big question is whether the concept that homosexuality is un-African is correct. San -Bushmen- cave paintings at least two thousand years depict copulating men. Anthropologists in, for instance, Zimbabwe, describe various forms of sex between African men in the pre-colonial era. Experts in the field of Shona customary law note that relationships between men were not uncommon. In some cultures it was in fact expected of boys in puberty that they would experiment with each other. Especially in warrior cultures there would be sexual relationships between men. The anthropologist Max Gluckman has noted that one of the most famous African warlords, Shaka Zulu, was a latent homosexual.

    Less is known of such relationships between women in Africa. There is some literature about the long existent sexual contact between "mummies" and "babies" in Lesotho, where women have relationships in which the one (the mother) protects the other. Other cases have been described in which women developed relationships within a polygamous marriage. Traditional culture, geared towards reproduction and family ties did not approve of this, but often looked the other way.

    Little has been written about the sexual side of female marriages such as those of the Lovedu, a tribe in the north of South Africa. Here one of the partners is responsible for the household, procreation and the harvest, but probably not for other "marital duties".

  11. #11
    Alliouagana Garveyite soca_souljah's Avatar soca_souljah is offline
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    I 'm sure even today you'll find more homosexual mutant caucasians in Europe than black africans homos in Africa
    Agitate until we create a stable society that benefits all our people.
    Instigate the nation until we remedy the injustices of society.
    Motivate our people to set a meaningful path for coming generations.
    Educate our people to free our minds and develop our consciousness

    Mwongozi Cudjoe (Chedmond Browne)
    Chairman of Free Montserrat United Movement

  12. #12
    Letterist XtasyReds's Avatar XtasyReds is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by soca_souljah
    I 'm sure even today you'll find more homosexual mutant caucasians in Europe than black africans homos in Africa
    I am going to try and refrain from making too much colour commentary around your very ignorant and disgusting statement.

    Anyway, the only reason you may FIND more white homosexuals in Europe than black homosexuals in Africa is becase it is more of a taboo topic in Africa than in Europe. That does not mean there are more/less on either of those continents.

  13. #13
    SAINTSational Nica's Avatar Nica is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by StarGyul
    I don't know where this thread belongs really*

    But I was wondering...
    I know that homosexuality was a big part of the ancient Greek and Roman culture, but I've never read anything about African culture

    So was homosexuality as prevalent in other ancient cultures as it was in the ancient Greek and Roman culture?

    Was it a religious thing? Were the women allowed to engage in homosexual behavior?

    I've read a couple things about India, Native Americans, etc but nothing about Africa.
    I have a thread about that in backchat
    Those Who Sacrifice Freedom for Security Deserve Neither
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    SAINTSational Nica's Avatar Nica is offline
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    Those Who Sacrifice Freedom for Security Deserve Neither
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    http://www.snackhealthy.com/snackwithval
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  15. #15
    Alliouagana Garveyite soca_souljah's Avatar soca_souljah is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by XtasyReds
    I am going to try and refrain from making too much colour commentary around your very ignorant and disgusting statement. [B]I DIDN'T START THE COLOUR COMMENTARY .. READ THE FIRST POST [/B]

    Anyway, the only reason you may FIND more white homosexuals in Europe than black homosexuals in Africa is becase it is more of a taboo topic in Africa than in Europe. That does not mean there are more/less on either of those continents.

    THAT'S MY POINT... SO WHAT UR TELLING ME IS THAT THERE IS A POSSIBILITY THAT IN A CONTINENT "WHERE IT IS MORE A TABOO TOPIC" IT DOESN'T MEAN THAT U WOULD FIND MORE HOMOSEXUALS IN EUROPE, THE CONTINENT THAT BROUGHT IT TO AFRICA .

    and you call me ignorant ..... sista plz
    Agitate until we create a stable society that benefits all our people.
    Instigate the nation until we remedy the injustices of society.
    Motivate our people to set a meaningful path for coming generations.
    Educate our people to free our minds and develop our consciousness

    Mwongozi Cudjoe (Chedmond Browne)
    Chairman of Free Montserrat United Movement

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