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Free knowledge base about matriarchal indigenous societies.
 
The Term Matriarchy
Description of Matriarchy
Ecourse Matriarchy

"Today's Matriarchies From the Newest View"

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Peaceful Societies

You can call them "Segmentary Societies" like Emile Durkheim, "Regulated Anarchies" like Max Weber, "Peaceful Societies" like on the Website mentioned below or "Matriarchy", like German Scholars define it (not to confuse with Bachofen, goddess movement or FemDom). It all is the same kind of society with the same patterns.

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When do you call a society matriarchal?

A kin is matriarchal under two main conditions:

- The children live with their mother's clan; husbands live with their wife's clan, as long as they are married. If the marriage ends, the husband moves back to his motherclan (matrilocal).
- Inheritage and line of descent is female (matrilineal).

matrilocal + matrilineal = matriarchal

But there are other criteria, like decision finding by consensus, please read full

description of matriarchy

 

 
Civilized and Uncivilized Family Life

One of the most striking differences between the Yequana and any other children I have seen is that the former neither fight nor argue among themselves. There is no competitiveness, and leadership is established on the initiative of the followers. In the years I spent with them, I never saw a child argue with another, much less fight. The only angry words I did hear were very rare bursts of impatience from an adult with a child who had done something undesirable. There was then a little tirade of complaint hurled at them as s/he stood looking concerned or hurried to mend the error, and no grudge kept when the matter was put right, by the child or by the adult.

Although I have seen many a party at which every Yequana, man, woman, and child, was drunk, I have never seen even the beginnings of an altercation, which makes one think that they really are as they look-in harmony with one another and happily at home in their own skins.(1)

 

Dear Abby: I have a sister I'll call Lisa, who refuses to contact any of the family. Granted, for years she was physically bused by our father, our mother was cold and emotionally abusive, and I guess the family in general was unsupportive. ­Everyone in the family thinks Lisa is being selfish, bit­ter and unforgiving, myselfin­cluded. I stood by my family. Li­sa turned her back.

The last time I talked to Lisa, she said she had suffered great­ly due to the family and wants a life of her own. How can she do this? She claims she doesn't feel "safe" with us.

I know our family isn't per­fect by any means, and I Know I haven?t been the greatest sister, but she can?t just leave! Right? She has a responsibility to this family. Isn?t she being neglectful to simply turn her back on us?

Abby, you know how impor­tant family is. How can I get Lisa to admit she is wrong and re­turn to the family?

FRUSTRATED SISTERIN CANADA

Dear Frustrated:
Lisa isn't being selfish, bitter or unforgiv­ing. After a lifetime of abuse, she has somehow become healthy and refuses to tolerate being mistreated any longer. The best advice I can offer is to accept her decision and wish her well. She has served her time and has gone on to better things. Console yourself with the fact that you and the family still have each other.(2)

 

Since Yequana women usually live with their mothers as long as the latter are alive, and the husbands must leave their mothers and take a place in the wife's family, it is fairly com­mon to find the wife taking the maternal position toward her husband in his crises.
The wife has her own mother to draw upon, but instinctively gives maternal support to her man when he needs it.

For orphaned adults, too, there is a custom that provides for adoption into another family. The strain on that family's resources is minimal, as the adult Yequana con­tributes more than s/he consumes in his or her family and receives from them a tacit guarantee of support if and when it is needed.

That assurance alone, even if it is never called upon, is a stabilizing factor.

 

The requirement for emotional insurance is an accepted part of human nature among the Yequana, one that it is in the interest of society to honor. It is another safeguard against any of its members becoming antisocialized by the pressure that circumstance might bring to bear upon theirnatural sociality.(1)

 

Circus??

Children, longing for being close to another human are the subject of jokes in patriarchal societies (On the newspapers comics page in September, 2002).

Isn?t that kid right? So, where is the fun?

 

?The man who sat on the ground in his tipi meditating on life and its meaning, accepting the kinship of all creatures and acknowl­edging unity with the universe of things, was infusing into his be­ing the true essence of civilization.?

- Chief Luther Standing Bear Oglala (Teton)
 Sioux American Indian

 

How many of us believe that to be civilized means to possess "things" and technology, to espouse Western theology and belief systems, and to be educated in abstract thinking?

Doesn't "civilization" mean, as Chief Luther Standing Bear has said, to accept our place in "the kinship of all creatures" and the "unity with the universe"?

When we realize that we are, indeed, one with others, we be­come less willing to destroy them, because we understand that we are, in essence, destroying ourselves.(3)

 

Resources:

(1) The Continuum Concept, Jean Liedloff
 

(2) "Dear Abby? is a nationwide column on advice in US newspapers; this one is from October 2002, Orlando Sentinel

(3) Native Wisdom for White Minds, Anne Wilson Schaef
 

 

{mos_sb_discuss:2}

 
Description of Matriarchy

To make it clear right away: There is no "complete matriarchal people" known today. Every so called matriarchal society lost more or less of their typical life style under patriarchal influence; so this description will be “fictional" and somewhat theoretical. Even though it matches reality, the characteristics listed below cannot be experienced by travelling to one ethnical community or tribe.

 

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!Kung boys and girls: Playing together -

We have to reconsider the interaction with our daughters and with our sons. Is how we treat them an applicable and humane way? Can we learn from "primitive" peoples?

!Kung girls and boys play together and share most games. Most cultures, including our own, consider some activities appropriate for girls and others for boys, and encourage the two sexes to play separately from an early age. Our derisive terms "tomboy" and "sissy" seem to have no counterparts in !Kung vocabulary. 
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The Athabascans - Social life and patriarchal influence
The Athabascan people traditionally lived in Interior Alaska, an expansive region that begins south of the Brooks Mountain Range and continues down to the Kenai Peninsula. There are eleven linguistic groups of Athabascans in Alaska. Athabascan people have traditionally lived along five major river ways: the Yukon, the Tanana, the Susitna, the Kuskokwim, and the Copper river drainages. Athabascans were highly nomadic , traveling in small groups to fish, hunt and trap.
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The Golden Age

Excerpt: In Greek Legend there is a story of an ancient Golden Age where people lived in peace and prosperity. To quote: "The first age was an age of innocence and happiness." The whole concept of this myth is that everything has become slowly worse and worse for human kind since the Golden Age. Up until recently modern academics have rejected these legends as pure "myth".

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