Showing posts from September, 2015

The Sexual Frontier - Contrasting Māori and European Attitudes towards Sex and Nudity in the Colonial Era

In pre-contact Māori society young unmarried men and women had a high degree of sexual freedom. With the exception of a few high-born women who were ceremonially bethrothed, pre-marital sex was considered socially acceptable, though blatant promiscuity was frowned upon and a certain level of discretion expected.   Sex was considered a normal and healthy part of every day life, with no particular taboos around it. Copulating couples were depicted in carvings and bawdy stories and waiata concerning sexual exploits or the size of men’s penises were common. Te Puawai o Te Arawa, 1905, 1/1-003279-G, ATL That relative openness extended to same-sex relationships, of which there is ample evidence from waiata and other traditional sources. Tutanekai, for example, who famously swam to Mokoia to be with Hinemoa, was also known to have had an initimate male companion known as Tiki. (By contrast, in the eighteenth-century Royal Navy death was the mandatory penalty for anyone fo