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Has there ever been a well documented matriachal society?

(56 Posts)
ChickensHaveNoEyebrows Sat 20-Aug-11 12:16:22

I was just wondering , if the power balance was tipped in womens favour, how society would define masculine roles iyswim? Would it be a fairer society generally, or would it still have equality problems? And if it has ever happened, what exactly were those problems?

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alexpolismum Sat 20-Aug-11 13:33:05

there was one in South America, but I can't remember the name just now.

Anyway, the one I like most is this one in China (I've mentioned it on MN before): the Mosuo also look here

you can find out more about them by typing 'Mosuo' into Google

ChickensHaveNoEyebrows Sat 20-Aug-11 14:13:01

Ooh, thanks <goes off to investigate>

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alexpolismum Sat 20-Aug-11 14:39:41

I was trying to remember the South American one, and I came across this overview of contemporary matriarchy which looks quite interesting

InvaderZim Sat 20-Aug-11 22:30:08

North American Indian (or First People) Tribes which are matriarchal:

Haida (Pacific Northwest US and Canada)
Hopi and Tanoans (Pueblo, Southwest US)

UsingMainlySpoons Sat 20-Aug-11 23:31:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SpamMarie Mon 22-Aug-11 20:58:52


PotPourri Mon 22-Aug-11 20:59:48


ChickensHaveNoEyebrows Mon 22-Aug-11 21:01:34

Lions get a raw deal, though. The females do all the work and the bastard big haired lion swaggers in and gets all the tasty bits of the kill. And male lions kill cubs belonging to other males.

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LeninGrad Tue 23-Aug-11 11:24:28

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UsingMainlySpoons Tue 23-Aug-11 11:26:50

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LeninGrad Tue 23-Aug-11 11:33:32

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alexpolismum Tue 23-Aug-11 14:16:47

Lenin - I like Heide Gottner Abendroth from the previous link. She has done a lot of research into matriarchy, if you put her name in Google something should come up. It's fascinating!

LeninGrad Tue 23-Aug-11 20:59:40

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LeninGrad Wed 24-Aug-11 12:39:09

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alexpolismum Wed 24-Aug-11 14:28:39

I agree, Lenin, and in fact, I am surprised by how few responses there have been on this thread.

[[ here] is another page to look at

alexpolismum Wed 24-Aug-11 14:29:12

Ooops, I mean


of course

ChickensHaveNoEyebrows Wed 24-Aug-11 14:30:52

I am lurking, but I'm reading through the links.

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Revupk Wed 24-Aug-11 14:34:36

The Nair community in Kerala is Matrilineal (not Matriarchial) i.e. the inheritane is via the woman not the man. However, since control of wealth confers power, the power balance between the genders is more or less balanced in many ways.

LeninGrad Thu 25-Aug-11 09:02:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ProfessionallyOffendedGoblin Thu 25-Aug-11 09:16:03

Interesting that there are so few examples in the entire world and history of the world as we know it.

LeninGrad Thu 25-Aug-11 09:21:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ChickensHaveNoEyebrows Thu 25-Aug-11 12:22:59

I suspect (but don't know) that patriarchies got established just because men on the whole are bigger, stronger and could make it happen, iyswim. The alpha male types would have just imposed their will on everyone by throwing their weight around.

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corygal Thu 25-Aug-11 13:45:14

Isn't Tibet matriarchal? Not the politics, the family structure.

alexpolismum Thu 25-Aug-11 15:34:22

Lenin - to go back to your point about self-sufficiency - I don't think that this is necessarily a product of a matriarchal society. I know of communities that were largely self-sufficient, growing their own food, using local resources, etc, before the modern world (and electricity!) caught up with them. But they were not matriarchal communities, and in fact the one I have the most personal knowledge of was heavily patriarchal, and continues to be.

Chickens - I think that men didn't suddenly think "Hey, why don't we oppress women!", it all happened gradually, bit by bit, until one thing lead to another and patriarchy was established. And societies are all inter-linked, neighbouring communities were affected by each other, so that a heavy patriarchy in one community would have affected the non-patriarchal neighbouring group, with a drip-drip effect until patriarchy was established there too. (Obviously, this is just my theory, I can't provide any links or proof!)

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