Wife swapping Alaskan Eskimos — facts and myths!
There are no dearths but disdained details of sexual freedom among the Eskimos of Alaska.
The most agonising facts that wives are quite liberally allowed by their husbands’ free sex for guests, as an etiquette. The studies are quite enigmatic.
Some sources explicitly speak that,” Virtue and modesty are not held in high esteem among them (Eskimos).This is especially the case of Christian Eskimos of the West coast who have come much in contact with us Europeans……………….it is not regarded as any particular disgrace for an unmarried girl to have children” (Eskimo Life:Fridtjof Nansen-2001-books.google.co.in/books?isbn=1402100167)
A historian accounts Eskimos’ marriage customs from a museum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as under:
In some societies, a wife’s hospitality included her sexual services. She had no right to refuse such arrangements. On the Aleutian Islands, southwest of Alaska, etiquette required that men should place their wives at the disposal of guests. Among the Eskimo and other societies that practised wife exchange and wife hospitality, the wife had no right to volunteer herself to another man. Such a liaison was adultery and the Eskimo husband would assault the lover, or challenge him to a song contest.
There are interesting facts from the following article and it is of great relevant to the issue.
Do Eskimo men lend their wives to strangers?
January 21, 2003
“I want to clear up a question about a certain Eskimo social custom. The question is whether Eskimos loan their wives to strangers. I have heard this claim in various social gatherings as an example of how we might resolve jealousy issues, but I am skeptical and wonder whether this is an urban legend or has specific contextual constraints.”
The author replies as under:
“I guess I wasn’t the only kid who ever dreamed of running away to join the Eskimos. I notice you use the present tense “loan.” Did you have travel plans in case I gave the right answer? Sorry to disappoint, but the Eskimos have gone and let Christianity ruin a beautiful thing. Since the coming of the missionaries, that sort of thing just doesn’t happen any more. Besides which, it never really worked quite the way a certain sixteen-year-old used to imagine.”
According the source spoken above with greater efficacy the forlorn situation may be archaic now. Nonetheless, state of affairs under great non-heritable characteristic change slowly to keep pace with modern era. This could be found with the same author as below:
“Sometimes an unmarried woman, usually a widow, would be offered (or would offer herself) to the traveler. Unmarried people of both sexes had considerable sexual freedom, and nobody thought less of them for exercising that freedom. But a traveler hoping to find an unmarried woman to exercise with might have been disappointed since there weren’t very many of them. Girls tended to marry as soon as they reached sexual maturity, and widows and divorced women usually remarried quickly”
There is interesting source how the marriage of the Eskimos conducted and the formalities followed; there is record found the wife swapping existed. Please read under the heading
“Wealthier males occasionally had several wives and, among the Gwich’in, might use younger males to sire heirs by their younger wives. These long-standing relationships could include short-term exchanges of spouses as part of the generosity between the two families. Among the Gwich’in, high-status women occasionally had unions to brothers (woman married to several men).
An individual was a member of one side, Raven and Eagle or Wolf, and had to obtain a marriage partner from the opposite side; to marry or have sexual relations with a member of one’s own side was considered incestuous (too closely interconnected). Marriages, particularly among the nobles, were arranged by the mother and her brother for the woman’s children”. (Meaning within bracket: from me)
This article may well conclude that the erstwhile once rampant may be an obsolete now as in the case several rituals in most of the countries fading out. The ardent interest is to focus on the modern Eskimo to the age-old Eskimos.
“Eskimo life is much different now. Most of the people live in towns or small settlements. They wear modern clothing, live in modern houses, and eat food purchased from stores. Instead of kayaks and dog sleds, they use motorboats and snowmobiles. Many have renounced the native religion for Christianity. Many Eskimos now work for wages, but a substantial number are unemployed and require government help to live”
There are number relevant of photographs both ancient and modern the life style,dress and igloo and so forth. Copyright restrictions do not allow such publication without prior permissions.