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Men's House, The

Anthropologists have been impressed with the similarity between a Lodge, composed of men only, admitting members by initiation and as apprentices, with ceremonies of their own, and the Men's House of a number of uncivilized peoples. In their campaigns in World War II among island peoples in the South Pacific and the Southwest Pacific American soldiers reported the finding of these Men's Houses in a number of islands--among the Marianas they were called All Men's House. A Men's House is the largest building of a community, stands well apart and by itself; in it unmarried men have their quarters; to it boys of twelve are taken when they are initiated into the tribe and are to live apart from women until marriage. The analogy between the House and a Lodge is interesting; both are instances, or forms, of free associations; but it is impossible to push the analogy beyond that point without turning it into an absurdity. (Studies of the Men's House and its ceremonies are common in general anthropological and ethnological literature; and there are special, detailed studies in the works of Hutton Webster, J. G. Fraser, and Margaret Mead. See also The Mends House, by Joseph Fort Newton, a collection of Masonic essays of which the first gives its title to the booked

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