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the effect of [urethral] sub-incision, assent being given only
after dismissal to a distance of the women and young children. As
to the women, it was nearly always observed that when in camp
without clothing they, especially the younger ones, exhibited by
their attitude a keen sense of modesty, if, indeed, a
consciousness of their nakedness can be thus considered. When we
desired to take a photograph of a group of young women, they were
very coy at the proposal to remove their scanty garments, and
retired behind a wall to do so; but once in a state of nudity
they made no objection to exposure to the camera." (_Report of
the Horn Scientific Expedition_, 1896, vol. iv, p. 37.)
In Northern Queensland "phallocrypts," or "penis-concealers,"
only used by the males at _corrobborees_ and other public
rejoicings, are either formed of pearl-shell or opossum-string.
The _koom-pa-ra_, or opossum-string form of phallocrypt, forms a
kind of tassel, and is colored red; it is hung from the
waist-belt in the middle line. In both sexes the privates are
only covered on special public occasions, or when in close
proximity to white settlements. (W. Roth, _Ethnological Studies
among the Northwest-Central-Queensland Aborigines_, 1897, pp.
"The principle of chastity," said Forster, of his experiences in
the South Sea Islands in their unspoilt state, "we found in many
families exceedingly well understood. I have seen many fine women
who, with a modesty mixed with politeness, refuse the greatest
and most tempting offers made them by our forward youths; often
they excuse themselves with a simple _tirra-tano_, 'I am
married,' and at other times they smiled and declined it with
_epia_, 'no.' ... Virtuous women hear a joke without emotion,
which, amongst us, might put some men to the blush. Neither
austerity and anger, nor joy and ecstasy is the consequence, but
sometimes a modest, dignified, serene smile spreads itself over
their face, and seems gently to rebuke the uncouth jester." (J.R.
Forster, _Observations made During a Voyage Round the World_,
1728, p. 392.)
Captain Cook, at Tahiti, in 1769, after performing Divine service
on Sunday, witnessed "Vespers of a very different kind. A young
man, near six feet high, performed the rites of Venus with a
little girl about eleven or twelve years of age, before several
of our people and a great number of the natives, without the
least sense of its being indecent or improper, but, as it
appeared, in perfect conformity to the custom of the place. Among
the spectators were several women of superior rank, who may
properly be said to have assisted at the ceremony; for they gave
instructions to the girl how to perform her part, which, young as
she was, she did not seem much to stand in need of." (J.
Hawkesworth, _Account of the Voyages_, etc., 1775, vol. i, p.
At Tahiti, according to Cook, it was customary to "gratify every
appetite and passion before witnesses," and it is added, "in the
conversation of these people, that which is the principal source
of their pleasure is always the principal topic; everything is
mentioned without any restraint or emotion, and in the most
direct terms, by both sexes." (Hawkesworth, op. cit., vol ii, p.
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