three pairs of lovers with space



The Boy-Wives of the Azande of the Sudan is an anthropologist's detailed account of the custom, already extinct but still vividly remembered when he began his fieldwork in 1926, of young men taking boys as temporary wives.

In 1900, the physician Paolo Ambrogetti reported in a booklet on sexual life in Eritrea on sex between men and boys known as diavoletti (little devils) by the Italian colonisers:

by Pierre Joubert

“relations with ‘little devils’ are not pursued secretly, but tolerated even by the boys’ fathers, especially since such services are always paid extra. At the age of adolescence, when the boy is ready for ntercourse with women, he generally stops having relations against nature. But cases are known where some ‘little devils’, who are attached to their patron, continue such relations till the age of eighteen or twenty. […] I have rarely been able to observe that pederasty was pursued by inclination rather than by opportunity. I only remember one chief, who was 25 years old and married. He nevertheless went on pursuing passive sexual relations with men without pecuniary gain.[1]

Buggery in Buganda is the story of the violent clash over Greek love in 1885-87 between Christianity and the traditional local values of Burundi upheld by its young king Mwanga II and his nobility.

The Mossi, by Louis Tauxier, 1912 describes the pederastic practices of the chiefs of the Mossi in the upper Volta region, whose boy pages took on the sexual role of their wives on Fridays, when there was a religious prescription against heterosex.

Michael Davidson in South Africa, 1920-ca.1921 is an English journalist's description of his love affair in Natal with a boy of Welsh extraction, and Dakar in 1948 is his account of the Greek love scene there, which he thought exceptional for Africa.


[1] Paolo Ambrogetti, La vita sessuale nell’Eritrea. Rome, 1900, p. 16; translation by Rudi C. Bleys, The Geography of Perversion, New York, pp. 169-170.

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