Who are the Trobriand Islanders and what are their sexual practices?

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The people of the Trobriand Islands live mostly on four islands east of Papua, New Guinea: Kiriwina, Kaileuna, Vakuta and Kitava. Their name derives from Denis de Trobriant, a European visitor who came there on a 1793 expedition. Around 12,000 islanders live there today in matrilineal clans.

Trobriands have very liberal sexual practices and no social prohibitions on premarital sex. Young people become sexually active in their early teens and are encouraged to change partners frequently; this applies to girls and boys alike. Villages offer a hut called a bukumatula where teenagers are encouraged to engage in sex.

Marriages are considered consummated when the couple eats a meal (of yams) together after the girl's parents have received a gift from the boy's parents.

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