Ritualized Homosexuality, Male Power and Political Organization in North Vanuatu: A Comparative Analysis
THE ISLAND of Malekula, in north Vanuatu, has for long been recognized as a locus classicus for the occurrence of organized male homosexuality. Deacon, who carried out his field researches in 1926, was the first to publish a reasonably detailed account (1934:260-69) of the highly institutionalized variety that occurs among the Big Nambas in the north. But it was Layard, who had worked at a much earlier period ( 1914-15) on the nearby offshore islands ofVao and Atchin, who subsequently incorporated Deacon's data into an early attempt to appreciate the theoretical significance of the practice (Layard 1942:503-22). Though homosexual behaviour as such did not appear to occur in the Small Islands, Layard noted the presence of dramatized representations on the part of ancestral spirits in the context of the boys' compulsory initiation rites.
The University of Sydney acknowledges that its campuses and facilities sit on the ancestral lands of Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander peoples, who have for thousands of generations exchanged knowledge for the benefit of all.