Edvard Westermarck (1862-1939) was a Swedish sociologist who wrote about the history of marriage and associated ancient customs around the world.

In Madagascar, the women had a unique way of choosing a husband. The man in question would stand at a certain distance from a proficient athlete and be obliged to catch between his arm and side every spear that was thrown at him. If he displayed fear or failed to catch any of the spears he was rejected.


Among the Dongolowees, if two men are suitors for one girl and she has difficulty deciding between the rivals the following method is adopted. The girl ties a knife to each forearm so that the blades project below her elbows. She sits on a log of wood, the men on each side with their legs loosely pressed against her. Raising her arms she leans forward and slowly presses the knives into the thighs of her suitors. He who best undergoes this trial becomes her husband. Her first duty after marriage is to dress the wounds she herself inflicted.


Among the South American Uaupes a swollen calf is considered one of the best attractions a young lady can possess, the result being that girls wear a tight garter below the knee from infancy. The Hottentots are charmed by women’s long and pendulous breasts which can assume such monstrous dimensions that the usual way of giving suck when the child is carried on the back is by throwing the breast over the shoulder.


Among the Arawaks and some people in the province of Paria, a virgin bride had to spend the first night with the local priest. In Venezuela, legitimate wives, but not concubines, were deflowered by priests and it was considered a great crime not to conform to this custom. Among the Senegalese the king not only has the power of life or death over his subjects but also le droit du seigneur everywhere in the tribe and no girl can marry until she has been deflowered by him.


Every year the Kurds have a great feast, assembling in a large room for promiscuous intercourse. After the congregation have kissed the priest’s hand he cries out “I am a great bull.” The most recently married woman steps forward and replies “I am a young cow”, after which the lights are dimmed and the orgies begin.


On the coast of Malabar, Brahmans act as deflowerers of brides. They are not always willing to preform this duty and often oblige husbands to pay four or five hundred ducats to make it worth their while.  In Central Africa when a young girl is “danced” or “initiated” a father has to pay a man to sleep with his daughter by giving him a fowl, a bowl of flour and a small bowl of beer.


Published in: on September 21, 2010 at 8:51 am  Comments (38)  
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  1. Well, I applaud those poor old “geezers” for having the nerve to at least try to liven things.
    That’s more a prison than a residential home!

  2. Those are some crazy traditions.
    Ain’t no priest deflowering my bride. lol

  3. Can’t wait for my next Kurdish party. Hit the lights.

  4. I still get paid. Noblesse oblige.

    The King

    • and how often do you exercise your droit de siegneur?

  5. all this ‘stolen flower’ crap makes me wanna strap on some knives and go all Edward Scissorhands on some of these manipulative bastards. grrr….

    • Clear the decks – daisyfae is coming through!

  6. Jesus. And I thought the New York dating scene was rough.

    Long and pendulous breasts kind of make me wanna hurl, but I can see how it’d be convenient to toss one over your shoulder if a kid is on your back. What utterly sexless imagery.

  7. KFC would pay a lot of money for that rooster.

    • they’d need a lot of tenderiser

  8. So, all this priestly sexual activity that everybody is so exercised about is nothing new.

    Defloration. What a concept. I like the way it was accomplished in “The Red Tent.”

    • I haven’t read The Red Tent. Are you recommending it?

      • Yes. I read it several years ago and enjoyed it very much.

  9. As they say “it’s good to be king”

    • Well, The King certainly thinks so. I’ve heard him utter those very words on a weekly basis after mah jongg

  10. “I am a great bull!” I bellowed, “And I’m OK to drive,” I assured her. “I am a young cow,” she declared, as the bell was rung for last call.
    (Cut to scene in parking lot, car keys twice dropped, sloppy kissing and giggling.)

    Kurt Ishcourtin

    • Mark! Welcome home to the Gimcrack. You have been missed

  11. Forget the bowl of flour, make it two bowls of beer and you’ve got yourself a deflowering deal. And I’ll even throw in deflowering another daughter absolutely free.

    • Too kind, RF, too kind.

  12. How primitive. I’m so glad we live in modern times where pain is inflicted after marriage and the lawyers do the screwing, not kings.

    • Ah but the pain only lasted one night back then. Now it lasts until your ex wife remarries

  13. How about the men drink shots of alcohol and try to dance with the women. The last man still able to dance is the one she goes home with. Now, which society does that one fit with?

  14. I had to undergo such a fearsome ceremony myself. All potential boyfriends had to identify the artists of 3 prints on the wall in my future mother-in-law’s living room – there was a Degas, a Picasso and another one [it was either a Monet or a Manet, I can’t remember now – hope I don’t get tested again – yikes!]

  15. Oh Nursey you know I love to see a man with a big cock!

    I’m very keen on that knifey ritual

    • Have you got two volunteers Lulu? I’d pay big money to watch that

  16. Among modern Pagans in the US there’s a tradition called “Bride Stealing” in which a brother, father or close male friend of the bride ritually “kidnaps” her. The groom must then come and fight that same male figure before the wedding can go forward. He does not have to win, mind you. He cannot, however, surrender. This is to test that he is willing to fight with everything he has to defend his new family.

    While I’ve seen this ritual take the form of a literal fist fight on more than one occasion, I’ve just as often seen it sublimated as a dance, a non-martial physical contest and even as a game of chess.

    Recently, I’ve seen a number of reciprocal “Groom Stealings” done under similar circumstances.

    Depending on your proclivities, it’s either a beautiful and powerful ceremony or a fossil of patriarchal ownership culture.

  17. If you lived in my town you could see why men get paid to deflower.

  18. Ach nothing like what the not-wife put me through… oh for droit de seigneur then!

  19. What happens to the guy who loses with the chick with the knives? She dresses the winner’s wounds. Does the loser bleed all over her sandals and then die?

    Men seem pretty fickle in these scenarios. It’s an honor, it’s a chore – make up your mind, People!

  20. I am a good deflowerer myself

  21. you never cease to amaze … 🙂

  22. I think the tourist boards of various countries are going to be writing to you soon – although whether to complain or thank you, I’m not sure.

  23. Fucking hilarious.

    Kurdish Orgies?…who would have thought it.

  24. A bowl of beer!?!? No that is not enough.

  25. I wouldn’t say the rituals of Madagascar were that unique, I had my partner audition for my hand in marriage much the same way. To this day i cite his inability to catch spears between his lowered arm and body as the reason for our defacto relationship

  26. I’d sleep with a lady for free, no fowl or flour or beer necessary. Because I’m generous.

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