[T]he Dou Donggo recognize most people as being either male, mone, or female, siwe. Some individuals, however, who in our society would probably be called transgendered [sic], are regarded as persons who were intended to become one gender but ended up being born in the body of a person of the opposite gender. They are men who are ‘sara siwe’, who ‘missed at becoming female’, or women who are ‘sara mone’, who ‘missed at becoming male’. Being sara siwe or sara mone is regarded as neither shameful or perverse, it is simply an aspect of an individual's self, a product of birth like eye colour or stature. For such individuals the usual sexual division of labour observed by the Dou Donggo is ignored: one sara siwe in Doro Ntika became a noted weaver, an occupation ordinarily the exclusive domain of women; this person also dressed as a young woman and joined the young women of the village in harvesting rice. In another instance a sara mone decided to accompany the men of the village when they went off to do the heavy labour of clearing the fields in which the village would plant their swidden rice that year. The men made no objection, although they seemed to find it amusing that the sara mone would want to take on such an arduous task. But at the end of the day, when they were returning to the village all of them stopped at a bathing pool in the river reserved for men. When the sara mone began to disrobe to bathe with them, the men drew the line and refused to permit it.
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