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{June 9, 2012}   The Culture of Sex In America

        ImageOne of the surviving American tribes – Caddo consists of matrilineal clans. In the winter, both men and women would wear deerskins. During the summer, they stayed virtually naked. Men had elaborate hair decorations and women painted themselves and had tattoos. There was no formal wedding ceremony. If a man desired a woman, he would try to find the best gift he could manage and give it to a woman. If she accepted, they’d have sex and considered the act of sex ‘marriage.’ Sometimes these marriages would only last a few days and women were allowed to accept gifts from several different men, and also engage in sexual relations with those different men with no repercussions.

Another American tribe – Calusa was characterized by marriages within the family. The chief had many wives and was polygynous. He also married his sibling sisters. The Cerokee tribe too had, had matrilineal clans. In some religious studies it is believed that their main deity, the Sun God, was actually female. Children were not considered blood relatives of their fathers, but only a blood relative to their mother. Both men and women had a high degree of sexual freedom. After marriage, the couple goes to live with her mother and in divorce the man had to return home to live with his own mother. There were incidents of polygyny. During pregnancy, the mother-to-be had a ceremonial bath under every new moon prior to the baby’s birth.

The Chickasaw too had matrilineal clans. Children were not considered to be related to their fathers, but only related to their mothers. When a man wanted to court a woman, he would give gifts to her mother and sisters. If they approved, he moved in. If a man married one girl in the family, he was allowed to have sex with all of her sisters. There was polygyny. After marriage, there was a mother-in-law taboo between the groom and the bride’s mother. If his brother died, he could marry his brother’s widow. If he did not, the widow would go without a husband for four years. At puberty, girls were sent to menstrual huts and each month after that during menstruation.

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