Re: matriarchal cultures

Mary Beth Williams (
1 May 1995 02:42:53 GMT

In <> (Gil Hardwick)

>In article <>, Patrick J Crowe
( writes:
>>Hodenosaunee descent is matrilineal, meaning each person belongs to
>>mother's clan. They also used to be matrilocal, meaning when a man
>>married he would move to join his wife's family. The League was
>>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.
>+61 97 53 3270

Yes, I know that I'm doomed to be chided for jumping into this
mid-thread, but I seemed to have lost this newsgroup when I shifted
servers a month back. However, I've gone back about 100 posts, and
still haven't picked up the beginning of this thread, but I'm very
intrigued as I'm currently researching patri- and matrilocality among
groups in the Eastern Woodlands (North America), including the Iroquois
(and proto-Iroquois). Would if be terribly rude of me to request a
quick recap of how this thread was initiated?


MB Williams