The Sambia people, inhabiting the Eastern Highlands Province of Papua, New Guinea, practice one of the most peculiar cultures; cultural acts of homosexuality and semen drinking rituals to transform young boys into men.
Boys between 7 and 10 years are separated from their mothers and women around them and taken to an isolated place where they begin an initiation process.
The Sambia men believe women possess tingu, a supernatural ability to manipulate men. A woman’s tingu increases every time she has a menstrual circle. The separation, therefore, proves that they can live without them and demonstrates masculinity.
The whole initiation process happens in six stages and can last between 10 to 15 years until a young man fathers a child.
The first stage is known as Maku. A sharp stick is inserted deeply into the young boys' nostrils until they bleed profusely, riding them of their mothers' blood.
The boys then get dressed in ritual attire and meet with older boys who perform a sexual dance. As it gets darker, the initiates join the older boys in dance and perform oral sex on them.
When the older boys ejaculate, the young boys are required to drink the semen, making them more masculine.
In the second stage, the Imbutu, the initiates are rewarded for their performance in the first stage. A lot of bonding between the younger and older boys also takes place.
Next is the Immangwi stage, which begins when the young boys reach puberty (13 to 16 years). They no longer participate in fellatio but are taught gender roles and more about heterosexual intercourse. After this training, they can now look for a wife and start putting the lessons to practice.
Nupusha stage, which marks the fourth stage, takes place once the boys turn 16 and are already married. They are to have sexual intercourse with their new wives constantly.
In the second last stage, Taiketnyi, the woman has her first menstrual cycle as a new bride, and the boy endures another round of bloodletting through the insertion of sticks into the nostrils.
Moondung stage, marking the final part, happens when the wife gives birth to her first child.
The initiation rites finally conclude after the sixth stage, with the boy now considered a full-grown man and a warrior in the community.
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