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Portuguese traders had obtained it from South America and introduced it to the Moluccas.The far higher crop yields from sweet potato gardens radically transformed traditional agriculture and societies.This has been correlated with the introduction of pottery, pigs, and certain fishing techniques.In the 18th century, traders brought the sweet potato to New Guinea, where it was adopted and became part of the staples.This ritual, which is a symbol of a young boy’s rite of passage to manhood, starts when a boy is between the ages of 6 to 10 and comprises of 6 stages.Imperative to the processes and teaching of the initial ceremony is the notion that women can be dangerous to men.'The locals are very proud people and they value their genetic lines.'Now part of Papua New Guinea, the Trobrianders continue to live much as they always have, using yams as currency and operating a matriarchal system that sees children become part of their mother's clan rather than the other way around.'Girls also take part in these "battles" and dance topless, only wearing grass skirts and flowers.They also adopt very suggestive poses, which would probably come as a shock to the authorities who introduced it.
Papua New Guinea is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world.
There is, however, one sort of person to whom the Trobriand Islanders' amorous behaviour doesn't apply.
'The romantic customs of the Trobriand Islanders do not extend to "outsiders",' explains Lafforgue.
In today’s society, we have to be careful about how we view and portray cultural practices as due to our own ignorance and conditioning as inhabitants of the West, which are heavy influenced by Eurocentric theories, we are prone to condemn things that are unfamiliar to us or might deem them to be “barbaric.” As we have seen with the practice of female genital circumcision, there continues to be discord between what many of us might consider inhumane practices and what might be viewed as by some as “sacred cultural practices.” The difficulty comes in when we as individuals have to assess and judge for ourselves what practices should be protected and respected for their cultural significance and which practices should be deemed inhumane regardless of their cultural importance.
Such is the case of the practice of masculinisation as it is conducted by the Sambia Tribe in Papua New Guinea.
It's the original free love community where women rule the roost: Welcome to the gorgeous Trobriand Islands in the South Pacific where the ladies can have as many lovers as they please and marriages are sealed with a gift of yams and polished stone.