A matriarchy is a society in which females have the central roles and control of property. Today, with men occupying the central position across all societies, there are a handful of female-led societies that thrive in the real world at present. Especially in Asia, where mostly all societies are male dominated, the existence of Matrilineality(tracing one’s lineage through maternal ancestry) is rare but it does exist. There are some clans/tribes in India where women rule. While you are wondering what those worlds would like, we want you to consider these 3 modern matriarchal societies in Asia that you totally visit.
The Khasi, India
Among these inhabitants of Meghalaya, women don’t rule, they reign. In Khasis, a daughter’s birth is celebrated like a monumental festival. The women of the house are the decision makers and hold the power of the house. Women are responsible for the family financials, community, and public affairs. The youngest daughters of the family inherit the whole of ancestral property and wealth. In this tribe, even the celebrations are about women; during the Nongkrem Dance Festival, the Khasis feature a special performance to please the powerful Goddess Ka Blei Synshar for a generous crop and prosperity for the people.
Found in the Indian states of Meghalaya, Assam, Tripura, and Nagaland; this indigenous Tibeto-Burman group is a classic example of modern matriarchal society. The Garos pass their wealth and political succession from mother to the youngest daughter. However, the men govern and manage the property, the ownership remains with the mother/daughter.
This society also has a matriarchal form of marriage. Most of the inheriting daughter’s marriage is arranged and the groom is expected to run away from the marriage proposal, while the bride’s family chases and captures him to bring to the bride’s village. Post marriage, the husband lives in his wife’s house. Marriage is not a binding contract and in case it does not work out, the marriage is resolved without social disgrace.
The Minangkabau, Indonesia
Minangkabau, is the largest known matrilineal society with four million people in West Sumatra, Indonesia. In this clan, the woman of the house are the most important and influential people. The tribal law affirms all wealth and property to be transferred from mother to daughter. Women rule the household while men take the political and spiritual realm. After marriage, all women are given their own sleeping quarters which they may choose to share or not share with their husband. Even if the husband sleeps in the quarter, he must leave early morning and eat breakfast at his mother’s house. All boys above the age of 10 live in men’s quarters and are taught useful skills and religious teachings. Women also have the power to select the clan chief, who they can remove from office upon their wish in case of failure to perform duties.
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