IOLÄUS: AN ANTHOLOGY OF FRIENDSHIP (1908):
The full text of IOLÄUS is available.
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[Introduction: Edward Carpenter's Ioläus is
an attempt to provide a historical context for male friendship.
One should not be misled, however. Carpenter, one of the earliest
English homosexual activists, is writing about homosexual relationships
and trying to provide a historical grounding for them. As such
his work is of interest not only for its references, but also
as evidence of the strategies of the early gay movement .]
I: FRIENDSHIP-CUSTOMS IN THF. PAGAN
AND EARLY WORLD
 THE Balonda are an African tribe inhabiting Londa land,
among the Southern tributaries of the Congo River. They were visited
by Livingstone, and the following account of their customs is
derived from him:
" The Balonda have a most remarkable custom of cementing
friendship. When two men agree to be special friends they go through
a singular ceremony. The men sit opposite each other holding hands,
and by the side of each is a vessel of beer. Slight cuts are then
made on the clasped hands, on the pit of the stomach, on the right
cheek, and on the forehead. The point of a grass-blade is pressed
against each of these cuts, so as to take up a little of the blood,
and each man washes the grass-blade in his own beer vessel. The
vessels are then exchanged and the contents drunk, so that each
imbibes the blood of the other. The two are thenceforth considered
as blood-relations, and are bound to assist each  other in
every possible manner. While the beer is being drunk, the friends
of each of the men beat on the ground with clubs, and bawl out
certain sentences as ratification of the treaty. It is thought
correct for all the friends of each party to the contract to drink
a little of the beer. The ceremony is called 'Kasendi'. After
it has been completed, gifts are exchanged! and both parties always
give their most precious possessions."
Natural History of Man. Rev. J. G. Food. Vol: Africa,
Among the Manganjas and other tribes of the Zambesi region,
Livingstone found the custom of changing names prevalent.
"Sininyane (a headman) had exchanged names with a Zulu at
Shupanga, and on being called the next morning made no answer;
to a second and third summons he paid no attention; but at length
one of his men replied, 'He is not Sininyane now, he is Moshoshoma
'; and to this name he an swered promptly. The custom of exchanging
names with men of other tribes is not uncommon; and the exchangers
regard themselves as close comrades, owing special duties to each
other ever after. Should one by chance visit his comrade's town,
he expects to receive food, lodging, and other friendly offices
Narrative of an Expedition to the Zambesi. By David and
Charles Livingstone. Murray, 1865, p. 148.
 The following passage from Livingstone shows the existence
among the African tribes of his time of a system, which
Wood rightly says " has a singular resemblance to the instruction
of pages in the days of chivalry ":
" Monina (one of the confederate chiefs of the Banyai) had
a great number of young men about him, from twelve to fifteen
years of age. These were all sons of free men, and bands of young
lads like them in the different districts leave their parents
about the age of puberty and live with such men as Monina for
the sake of instruction. When I asked the nature of the instruction
I was  told ' Bonyai,' which I suppose may be understood as
indicating manhood, for it sounds as if we should say, ' to teach
an American Americanism,' or, ' an Englishman to be English.'
While here they are kept in subjection to rather stringent regulations....
They remain unmarried until a fresh set of youths is ready to
occupy their place under the same instruction."
Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa. By David
Livingstone, 1857, p. 618.
M. Foley ( Bulln. Soc. d'Anthr. de Paris, 1879) speaks of fraternity
in arms among the natives of New Caledonia as forming a close
tie- closer even than consanguinity.
HTML, Paul Halsall, some subtitles have been added [they were
supplied by page headings in the original]
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