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Definitions for matelotage

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  1. Matelotage

    Matelotage (French for "seamanship") was a same-sex civil union amongst sailors, in particular pirates, in the 17th and 18th century. An economic partnership, "matelots" would agree to share their incomes, and inherit their partner's property in the case of their death. In addition, they would pledge to protect and fight alongside each other in battle and otherwise act in the other's interest. While often interpreted as a platonic form of mutual insurance, many historians believe that matelotage would be much more accurately comparable to same-sex marriage. In the male-dominated world of piracy, homosexuality was common. A union such as matelotage may have acted as a manner of validating relationships that would otherwise have been considered against contemporary societal norms. One often-cited instance of matelotage as a romantic rather than economic union is that of John Swann and Robert Culliford. Both pirates in the Indian Ocean during the late 17th century, the pair represent one of the few written sources of the practice. Beyond the documentation of their union, Swann was referred to as “a great consort of Culliford’s, who lives with him.”Another allusion to matelotage's true significance was the disapproval it was shown by colonial authorities. For example, in 1645, Governor of the colony of Tortuga, Jean Le Vasseur, requested to the French government that female prostitutes be sent to the island, supposedly in order to deter matelotage among the buccaneers.

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of matelotage in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of matelotage in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

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"matelotage." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 8 Feb. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/matelotage>.

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