Re: matriarchal cultures

Gil Hardwick (
Sun, 30 Apr 1995 08:00:02 GMT

In article <>, Patrick J Crowe ( writes:
>Hodenosaunee descent is matrilineal, meaning each person belongs to their
>mother's clan. They also used to be matrilocal, meaning when a man got
>married he would move to join his wife's family. The League was composed
>of five, later six, tribes or nations, each of which had fairly small
>number of villages and some three to ten clans. The villages each had
>two 'councils,' one composed of the adult males, one of adult females;
>each pretty much took care of their own business. The League Council
>was composed officially of fifty chiefs from the five nations plus a
>varying number of other, unofficial chiefs.

Sounds just exactly like Aboriginal Australia, without the "chiefs".

I assume that you mean by "matrilocal", Patrick, that residence was
only "usually matrilocal" with considerable freedom to go live with
husband's family, or with schismatic age-peers, or even to make a new
"home" for themselves with another "tribe" entirely. So long as they
didn't move around so much just to make nuisances of themselves and
avoid their social obligations, and depending on what standing they
enjoyed and what ceremonies needed to be negotiated to mark their

And so long as at least classificatory kin were available through whom
they could fit their particular place in the wider scheme of things
into the group. Being out of social context being the very worst thing
anyone could be, anywhere.

Otherwise individuals might be away on business for very long periods
indeed, in fact.

He who refuses to qualify data is doomed to rant.
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