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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"

Free E-Course about unknown facts of indigenous cultures around the word.

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7 course segments,
1 email per week


Table of Contents

Click the red topics for an excerpt

  1. Where are there currently matriarchies?
  2. ... How can a society be documented as a matriarchy, if the term is not clearly defined?  Here we meet with one of the fundamental problems in matriarchy research. [...] H. L. Morgan described “Mother Right” among the matriarchal Iroquois of North America, and spoke, like Bachofen, of a “gynecocracy” (the rule of women) in the early cultural phases of humanity.  Although it would therefore appear as if Bachofen or Morgan were the discoverers of matriarchy, neither of them employed this concept! ...
  3. ... Namely, the idea that the right of the mother represents “an early cultural phase of humanity.” Bachofen, for example, connected Mother Right with pre-antique peoples, and the patriarchal model with the “more highly developed” Greek culture which sprang from them. ...
  4. ... In the 1960s, the agrarian sociologist Christian Sigrist employed the term of “regulated anarchy” as a book title, used previously (in 1921) by Max Weber (legal expert, economist, sociologist) for “primitive communities.” In his book Regulated Anarchy: Inquiries into the Absence and Origin of Political Government in the Segmentary Societies of Africa, the author points to the main characteristic of these societies: the lack of government. Here he examined the inter-relations that ...
  5. ... The social structures of a culture which is foreign to us cannot be perceived from without. This also holds for matriarchal societies. The characteristics of their life as a group become noticeable only when one lives among the people of such a society. This happened to the artist Antje Olowaili, who in the early 1990s lived for one year among the matriarchal Kuna (in Panama), and became aware of this fact only when, upon her return, she ...
  6. The use of authentic sources
  7. ... Harmony and reciprocity between men and women is an important feature of these societies. Matriarchies are societies in balance. This means that the relationship between man and woman is no “battle of the sexes,” no “marital war”; there are no hen-pecked husbands, bridled by some “Xanthippe,” no women’s shelters offering refuge to abused women. How, then, does it work? And what does a couple’s relationship look like? ...
    ... The anthropologist Dr. Shanshan Du investigated four socio-cultural frameworks for the equality of the sexes, which ...
    1. mother-centeredness
    2. the complementariness of the sexes— “different, but equally valuable”
    3. the meaninglessness of the sexes— the exact opposite to our society
    4. ... “Everything comes in pairs, there is no such thing as being alone!” Or, as is claimed in an oft-cited metaphor, which refers to the unity of spouses: “Chopsticks only work in pairs!” The same contribution, during a meal, of each stick in a pair of Chinese chopsticks reflects the joint roles of the sexes in all areas. This includes pregnancy and birth— here, the male spouse serves as midwife—, raising of children, housework, agricultural subsistence economy, and tasks of leadership. ...
  8. ... The circle is a typical symbol for tribal societies, which is often found in the architecture. The frequently encountered circular encampment, the circular structure of the settlement is an especially obvious architectonic possibility for the expression of social equality. ...
  9. Segmentary Societies — Another Concept for Matriarchy
  10. ... You have heard over and over again in this course that there is no rule in matriarchy, no single person who bears the responsibility or leadership. But how then is everyday life ordered? How are decisions taken? Who determines where the new granary should be built? Or, how is an answer found to important questions, which concern the entire tribe: should one sign a contract with representatives of the occupying power, form an alliance with the colonists, or enter into a relationship with the missionary station? Actually, the question is: How are politics conducted, in small matters and in large? ...
    1. What Are the Advantages of the Consensus-Principle?
    2. Consensus is Reflected in Language
  11. The Origin of Language and Self-knowledge
  12. The art of life: the balance between egoism and altruism
  13. ... Ethnologists have designated actions which benefit the group as “altruistic.” They have also labeled them as “selfless” actions, or actions “for the good of others” or “for the common good.” In doing so, they have chosen a concept which brings to mind a form of human behavior which is loaded with ethical connotations. That is, a moral standard is conveyed along with the concept.
    On the other hand, one hears that Darwin’s point of view amounts to the “law of the jungle,” according to which every individual, egoistically, at the cost of others, and in ruthless competition, looks after his own interests. This view of animal life as egoistic is false in two regards. ...

Literature and sources used

 

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"Today's Matriarchies From the Newest View"

7 parts
one Email per week
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