Matriarchate


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Matriarchate

 

a social system that existed in the period of the dissolution of the clan system and transition to a class society. The basic features of a matriarchate—the dominant position of the woman in society, matrilineal inheritance of property and position, and matrilocal or dislocal marital residence— emerged through changes in certain norms of the matrilineal clan. The matriarchate period was first identified by J. Bachofen in his analysis of classical myths. The existence of a matriarchate has been historically reconstructed for certain peoples of Tibet and for ancient Egypt and other states in antiquity. Vestiges of a matriarchate survive among the Minangkabau on Sumatra and certain Micronesian peoples. The term “matriarchate” is sometimes imprecisely used to denote the matrilineal clan system as a whole or the period in which it flourished.

References in periodicals archive ?
Achebe demonstrates this attachment to daughters betraying his avowal of a matriarchate when he states that "my wife and I have four children--two daughters and two sons, a lovely balance further enhanced by the symmetry of their arrivals: girl, boy, boy, girl.
Every part of the world today gives evidence of the system; reminiscences of the Matriarchate everywhere abound.
Perhaps I erred in calling such a society matriarchal; technically, I suppose, it would be a matriarchate.