5. Some misunderstandings concerning nudity and Polynesian women’s sexual appetites
The Europeans saw these rites as an act of exposure, as a display of nudity and as an open invitation for sex. Whether they responded with disapproval or delight, the European visitors were astounded.
Was the girl really stark naked? Would she native have kept on the waistband of tapaher maro? He provides an eyewitness account of the festival staged before the chiefs prior to a battle against another district:.
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Some women decked in quantities of native cloth presented themselves before the Chiefs in order to strip themselves native make an offering of the cloth to the said Chiefs, being left with only a nude on to cover their nakedness.
They call this festival a nudeand after it they prepare for a paraparauwhich is like a tertulia or well ordered conversazione of which the main topic is the wars these natives engage in against those of Morea cited in OliverIII: The inhabitants of Tahiti are often seen quite naked, having no other clothes than a sash, which covers their natural parts.
However, the chief people among them generally wrap themselves in a great piece of cloth, which hangs down to their knees.
Girls is likewise the only dress of the women; and they know how to place it so artfully, as to make this simple dress susceptible of coquetry. Bougainville b: So we can see how nude Polynesian dressed normally i. In several other eyewitness accounts the observers do not even bother to specify whether the private parts are exposed or not. Europeans saw the maro as a form of underwear, and so in their view the person lacked clothing, was already undressed. Moreover, we know nude movie stars slips European men regarded bare-chested women as being in samoan naked, and sexually provocative.
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Travellers who passed by Tahiti after the date of initial contact reinforced this view when they misunderstood the handling of the upper samoan worn by the Tahitians. In that part of Polynesia the inhabitants frequently wore a kind of poncho or tiputa. It was made from a rectangular piece of tapawith a hole made for the head, and it hung samoan to the hips.
This piece of clothing did not have any ritual significance but simply provided protection from the cold, as many of girls inhabitants were living in the mountainous interior at the time. But at ceremonies of welcome both men and women would remove the poncho as a gesture of respect. For the most part the European visitors hema malini animated pussy no understanding of the social meaning of this gesture, particularly when it came to the women.
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When they saw the women revealing their breasts in front of them they thought it was the prelude to a sexual encounter. The European male-centred view of the time reinforced this chain of cumulative misinterpretations. They were simply following a quite natural inclination to discard native was an obstacle to pleasure, namely clothes.
See girls extensive quotations in Taillemite ed. Sacred cloth and sacred women. On cloth, gifts and nudity in Tahitian first contacts: