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MATRIARCHY

Matrilocal Residence, Matrilineal Descent

Matriarchy is a society or family in which women possess most of the power and authority. Matriarchy is the very opposite of a patriarchal system where men take primary responsibility for the welfare of the community. The male equivalent is Patriarchy.

While there is some dispute among social scientists, there is no clear evidence of matriarchal societies existing in the world in either the past or the present. 

Individual families, however, have frequently exhibited matriarchal structure with women clearly possessing dominant authority and control. 

The term 'matriarchy' must be distinguished from matrilineal which refers to the system of tracing descent through the blood lines of women and which exists in a number of world societies.

Anthropologists do not make a distinction between merely matrilineal, and clearly matriarchal societies.

The women live permanently there, because daughters and granddaughters never leave the clan-house of their mother, when they marry.

This is called matrilocality. Women have the power of disposition over the goods of the clan.

Matriarchies are based on a union of extended clan. The people live together in big clans, which are formed according to the principle of matrilinearity. The clan’s name, and all social positions and political titles are passed on through the mother`s line.

Some traditional matriarchal societies have been presented by scholars and indigenous speakers from still existing matriarchal societies at two World Congresses on Matriarchal Studies.

Patriarchy as Negation of Matriarchy - Patriarchy finally negates matriarchy by trying to replace matriarchal society by patriarchal order. To do so it has to totally abstract from matriarchal. 

A Matriarchal Society in the age of Globalization - It is the character of the ideal type to assemble generalised, abstract and ideal elements of a matriarchy, but no such society exists in reality.

All Power to the Women: Nazi Concepts of Matriarchy 
Jost Hermand, Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 19, No. 4, Reassessments of Fascism (Oct., 1984), pp. 649-667

From Patriarchy to Matriarchy: Ma Joad's Role in The Grapes of Wrath 
Warren Motley, American Literature, Vol. 54, No. 3 (Oct., 1982), pp. 397-412

The Myth of Matriarchy: Why Men Rule in Primitive Society
Bamberger, Joan. (1974). in Women, Culture, and Society, edited by Michelle Zimbalist Rosaldo and Louise Lamphere, pp. 263-280. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press. 

Matrilocality, which is also known as Uxorilocal marriage, is a term used in social anthropology. It describes a societal system in which the offspring of a mother remain living in the mother's house, thereby forming large "clan-families", typically consisting of three or four generations living under the same roof.

A traditional Nair matrifocal family of South India is called a Tarawad or Marumakkathayam family. A traditional Nair Tarawad consists of a mother and her children living together with their mother's surviving eldest brother or eldest surviving maternal uncle who is called Karanavan. The Karnavan exercises full powers over the affairs of the family. Till recently, the heirs to the property were the women in the family and the men were only allowed to enjoy the benefits during their lifetime and if a family property was to be partitioned all female members would receive one share and all male members who were direct offspring of the family name would receive one share. Thus a brother might receive only one share while his sister and her children (and grandchildren by her daughters) would each receive a share. 

The naming system of the Nair community had the prefix of their mother's 'family name' and they adopted the maternal uncle’s surname.