The Life of a South African Tribe

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When a boy has gone through the puberty rites he is allowed to practice the gangsia. This word comes from ganga, which means "to choose a lover." Each girl is asked by the boys to choose one of them; they make them choose (gangsia, factitive derivative). . . . When a girl has made her choice, her boy plays with her like husband and wife, first building little huts, etc., but later in a less platonic fashion. In fact nothing is prohibited in the relations between young people of the two sexes. A married woman is sacred among the Thongas, but an unmarried girl is not. However, she must not become pregnant. . . . A boy who has no such flirt, no shigango, is laughed at as a coward; a girl who refuses to accept such advances is accused of being malformed.4

In some localities [among the Ila] the young girls go out of the village and build play huts of grass, and take up their abode there, being assisted in their preparations by the boys. They beg plenty of food—the new grain, new groundnuts, and milk. The night before the play begins they all collect at one of the huts in the village—perhaps the chief’s—where they sleep. . . . Then they take the food they have collected and scamper off to the play-huts. There they set about putting things in order and cook the food. During the morning the boys put in an appearance, and eat with the girls. Having eaten their fill, one of the boys says: "Atuone" ("Let us sleep"). Then the boys and girls pair off and go to bed in the huts. Later in the day they rise, and as the sun is setting they go back to their homes. This may be kept up for a few days or even for a month. During all this time the boy and girl are as man and wife.1

4Junod, H.n/an/an/an/an/a, , 1: 97–98 (The Macmillan Company. By permission).

1 Smith, E. W., and A. M. Dale, The Ila-speaking Peoples of Northern Rhodesia, 2: 37–38 (The Macmillan Company. By permission).

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Chicago: "The Life of a South African Tribe," The Life of a South African Tribe in Primitive Behavior: An Introduction to the Social Sciences, ed. Thomas, William I. (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1937), Original Sources, accessed September 21, 2019, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=NR4Y1IC4LCK4N35.

MLA: . "The Life of a South African Tribe." The Life of a South African Tribe, Vol. 1, in Primitive Behavior: An Introduction to the Social Sciences, edited by Thomas, William I., New York, McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1937, Original Sources. 21 Sep. 2019. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=NR4Y1IC4LCK4N35.

Harvard: , 'The Life of a South African Tribe' in The Life of a South African Tribe. cited in 1937, Primitive Behavior: An Introduction to the Social Sciences, ed. , McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., New York. Original Sources, retrieved 21 September 2019, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=NR4Y1IC4LCK4N35.