In cold and temperate climates, it is necessary to clothe the body as a protection against cold. In hot parts of the world, the need for protection against the effects of the weather by means of clothing disappears, ???? and therefore in those regions primitive people go about naked. It is only when they come under the influence of foreign civilisation that they put on clothing. It is erroneous to assume that clothing came into use because of an inborn sexual modesty. In Australia, in the Indonesian and Melanesian islands, in tropical Africa, and in South America, there are still many peoples that go about naked. It is true that many of them cover their sex organs; but the contrivances used for this purpose are not in reality intended to hide the sex region, though to our mind they seem to do so.

Primitive people do not cover their bodies out of modesty; "the sinfulness of nakedness" is unknown to them. Karl von den Steinen (pp. 190, 191) says[Pg 2] that the naked Indian tribes of the Xingu region of Brazil know no secret parts of the body. "They joke about these parts in words and pictures quite unabashed, so that it would be foolish to call them indecent. They are envious of our clothing, as of some precious finery; they put it on and wear it in our presence with a complete disregard of the simplest rules of our own society, and in complete ignorance of its purpose. This proves that they still possess the pristine guilelessness of Adam and Eve in Eden. Some of them celebrate the advent of puberty in members of both sexes by noisy festivals, when the 'private parts' come in for a good deal of general attention. If a man wishes to inform a stranger that he is a father, or a woman that she is a mother, they gravely denote the fact by touching the organs from which life springs, in a most spontaneous and natural manner. It is, therefore, not possible to understand these people properly unless we put aside our conception of 'clothing,' and take them and their manners in their own natural way."