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In matriarchal theoretical and other publications, matriarchy is a type of society in which all social and legal relationships are organized through the parentage of the maternal line , in which religious ideas are traced back to an ancestor or great goddess , and in which women play a central role in society and take religion. There is often no distinction between whether the central position is ascribed to the mothers or the women in general. A hypothetical social order in which women or mothers also have sole political power is called matriarchy.

In today's popular parlance, matriarchy is understood to mean a social order that is primarily shaped by women . However, there is no scientifically generally accepted definition of the term matriarchy.

Since the 19th century, numerous scientific disciplines, cultural, social and religious currents loaded the term - often under the designation "mother law" - with constantly different ideas and contents and used it in the respective historical and cultural context according to their worldview . It was also debated whether the matriarchy is about facts or images of wishfulness or fear. There is extensive research consensus that “matriarchy as matriarchal rule cannot be historically proven as a mirror image of patriarchy ”.

Synonyms for matriarchy are the terms mother right and gynecocracy , which are rarely used today . Commonly used for matriarchal are matriarchal or matricentric . In contrast to this, the ethno-sociological terms matrilinear , matrilocal and uxorilocal describe rules of origin and residence . With Matrifokalität in which is anthropology a central role in maternal matrilinear, patrilinear or other relationship systems referred to.


Matriarchy is an artificial word that appears in the German-speaking area for the first time at the end of the 19th century, in analogy to the already existing term patriarchy and based on the terms mother law and gynecocracy that were used until then . The word is made up of the Latin mater 'mother' and ancient Greek αρχειν archein , German 'rule, walten' or archē “Oberste-, Erste-” (standing at the top). In modern Greek archē means “power, rule”, in ancient Greek “beginning, beginning” (see prefix archi-, ore-, upper- ).

History of the theories of matriarchy

The beginnings of the theories on matriarchy stem from legal historical and ethnological contributions from the 18th and 19th centuries. The historical materialism (but already Johann Jakob Bachofen ) understands matriarchy as a general and necessary level of the companies of Prehistory and Early History . In the 20th century they were part of the Marxist- oriented cultural studies . Enthusiastic elements were combined with historical facts in order to obtain an alternative to the patriarchal structure of western industrial societies. The patriarchy was largely made responsible for social conditions and moral as well as psychological attitudes and compulsions and the matriarchy was interpreted either positively as a utopian original condition of society or pejoratively as a retrograde cultural stage.

The thesis of the existence of a general prehistoric matriarchal cultural stage or at least a cult of a great goddess was represented relatively frequently from the end of the 19th to the middle of the 20th century, especially in English prehistory and archeology. German-speaking prehistorians had sought proximity to National Socialism in the 1930s. An outstanding representative was Oswald Menghin , who with his book The World History of the Stone Age (1931) represented the opinion that the Neolithic cultures in particular were shaped by a matriarchy. As a result, prehistory and early history in West Germany after 1945 exercised a decided reluctance to develop theory. A Marxist interpretation of prehistory became noticeable in Soviet archeology : the paleolithic Venus figures discovered in the 1920s and 30s were considered evidence of a primeval communist matriarchy.

During rejected in all relevant scientific disciplines, recourse to the Matriarchatsbegriff be unsuitable for the study of social systems and their inherent power and gender relations, took place from the late 1970s, an appropriation by representatives of the essentialist branches of the Second Wave - feminism . Like Bachofen, they assume that matriarchy in particular was a time of prehistory and early history in which women in particular were creative and influential in culture, but did not rule. See also: Feminist ideas of matriarchy since the second women's movement .

Suggestions for determining the concept of matriarchy

In the specialist sciences and in other publications, a wide variety of specifications for the term “matriarchy” have been and are being proposed.

Johann Jakob Bachofen

Johann Jakob Bachofen (1861) and in his reception a. a. Friedrich Heiler saw the existence of maternal law institutions on the one hand as constitutive characteristics, on the other hand

  • an "excellent position of women in cult and religion (for example as ancestress, seer, priestess)"
  • "The worship of a female deity"

Features of the Bachofen gynecocracy are:

  • Social primacy of mother; sole right of inheritance of the daughters; the mother-brother has a special position; Right of women to choose their own partner.
  • Matricide is the greatest crime and cannot be atoned for.
  • In religion, goddesses, based on the one earth goddess, in whose veneration he assumed the origin of every religion, and their priestesses assume a dominant position.
  • Economically, there is a highly developed agriculture that is jointly operated by women. Men hunt and are often absent.
  • Politically, there is general equality and freedom; women are at the head of the state, with certain tasks being delegated to men.

Bachofen used the term gynecocracy, but for him this did not imply the rule of women over men. It was only the exaggeration of the gynecocracy that finally led to the end of mother law and the victory of father law, which was preceded by a phase of struggle between Amazons and patriarchal Hellenic and Roman heroes. "The woman overstimulated her power, and the men succeeded in gaining supremacy."

Birgit Heller

Birgit Heller (1997) outlines the concept of matriarchy as follows: “What is usually meant is a social form that is characterized by the dominance of the mother or woman, or the descent and succession according to the mother, which has a more or less favorable effect on the position of women. "

Angela Schenkluhn

Angela Schenkluhn (2006) suggested that cultural-scientific terms such as matrilinearity, matrilocality or matrifocality, which refer to the organization of family relationships, should be strictly separated from matriarchal concepts which, in contrast, refer to a certain type of society . Since no historical or archaeological evidence has existed for such a type of society of “matriarchy”, the term matriarchy should be understood as “social myth within certain ideological systems”. As the basic elements of important theories on matriarchy, it defines:

  • a dominant role of women in society and politics (matriarchy in the narrower sense)
  • Determination of legal relationships of descent, inheritance, family and home by the maternal line (matrilineality, matriarchy [in the broader sense])
  • Worship of female deities in religion and mythology

Cecilia Rentmeister

In 1980, Cäcilia Rentmeister was the first to expressly define matriarchy not as a mirror image reversal of patriarchy, but as the mother-beginning or mother-principle, and defines the characteristics with which she emphasizes the advantages of this form of society for women and mothers as well as for avoiding violence against women and managing gender conflicts in the ethnicities she visits ( Minangkabau , Nayar ). It therefore lists a number of ideal-typical features that can or could occur both individually and together, including:

  • Matrilinearity : Family name, house, land and movable property are inherited in the female line - with the result of divorces and divorce consequences with little conflict, and that there are no “illegitimate” descendants
  • Matrilocality : Descendants live “at the place of the mother clan”, in the country, in the houses of the mother clan
  • Avunculate : elevated status of the uncle / sister-brother related in the female line
  • Women in important cultic and symbolic-religious roles: ancestor worship , tracing the group, the people, the ethnic group back to a female ancestor or creator, animistic ideas and practices
  • Visiting marriage in which men and women stay in the houses of their respective matrilineage and only "visit" each other
  • Men as a representative “voice” who announce gender-democratic decisions in public - a role that led to the overestimation of the real power position of men, as for example with the often matrilineal Indians of North America / Native Americans
  • Property in the hands of women (clans) promotes overall social prosperity and makes a significant contribution to the avoidance of violence
  • Exercise of “reproductive rights” by women, especially birth control , with the result that population growth is slower than that of surrounding patriarchal ethnic groups

Heide Göttner-Abendroth

Heide Göttner-Abendroth (1980) assumes the existence of matriarchies in the past and present as societies created by women and shaped in all areas with “complementary equality”, in which the “mother is the prototype”, because the motherly behavior is the main one Derived from values ​​of society. She defines this hypothetical type of society on four levels:

  • Social characteristics: matrilinearity, matrilocality and matri-uxorilocality (place of residence with the mother). Biological fatherhood is secondary to social fatherhood.
  • Political characteristics: egalitarian and domination-free societies. Consensus democracy on various levels (clan house, village, region). Deviating from this, Göttner-Abendroth also defines historical matriarchies as "[...] rule of an ancestral mother over the clan (= clan = village community) or a priestess college over a theacratic city-state or a federation of such city-states."
  • Economic characteristics: mostly horticultural or subsistence farming . No private property . Women are in control of the essential goods of life. The ideal is distribution and equalization, not accumulation . This balance is achieved through joint festivals.
  • Philosophical characteristics: ancestor cult . Nature is considered sacred. The earth as the "Great Mother" is one of the original goddesses, the other is the cosmic goddess as the creator of the universe. It is about "sacred societies and goddess cultures".

In her critical presentation of Göttner-Abendroth as a “classic of matriarchy research” Stefanie Knauss notes: “In ethnology, anthropology, archeology and religious studies one is usually rather negative about her theory, because the existence of the matriarchy she describes is not proven with her method can be […]."

Matriarchy from an ethnological point of view

In matriarchal theories , some older publications and sometimes also in popular usage, matrilinearity or matrilocality is used to infer or equate the type of society with matriarchy. Some indigenous feminist writers such as Ifi Amadiume and Martha Harroun Foster who research the history of their own ethnic groups also use the term "matriarchy". In doing so, they emphasize the otherness to Western models of society and a strong role women played before colonization and proselytizing, and in this way they emphasize their political conclusions. However, feminist ethnologists since the mid-1970s have mostly rejected the term matriarchy. The term "matriarchy" is no longer used in more recent ethnology and social anthropology .

Matrilineal kinship system

The term matrilinearity describes "the social definition of kinship and the individual rights and obligations derived from it, in particular the inheritance claims, as well as social group membership according to descent from the maternal line." The decisive factor here is the exclusively female ancestry of a person's ancestors uterine descent: "offspring from the womb "), the line runs through the mother , her mother ( grandmother ), in turn her mother ( great-grandmother ) and so on back to an ancestral mother . Such one-line rules of descent - only through the maternal line or only through the line of the fathers - can be found in many non-state-forming societies and ethnic groups in which important goods such as land and cattle have to be divided up and passed on.

A previously alleged dependence on matrilineal and agricultural driving companies do not exist, however. The ethnologist Gabriele Herzog-Schröder pointed out in 2000 that the basic idea of descent in its forms of matrilinearity and patrilinearity came from a time “when anthropology was dominated by assumptions about the evolution of relationships between the sexes.” The social structure of a Society is not necessarily dependent on the rule of parentage. The existence of a matrilineal kinship organization does not imply that women have sole political power; rather, in such societies, political and representative tasks are usually performed by men within and outside of the Matri ancestry group ( lineage ) .

A Hopi ties the hair of an unmarried girl to the traditional "butterfly hairstyle" (around 1900)

In 1998, the Ethnographic Atlas recorded 160 purely matrilinear indigenous peoples and ethnic groups , around 13% of the 1267 ethnic groups recorded worldwide, plus a further 101 ethnic groups (8 percent) for which the maternal line has its own independent validity within the framework of a bilinear or parallel rule of descent . One third of the matrilineal ethnic groups follow the matrimonial residence rule of the Matri locality , where "daughters stay in their mother's house" after marriage , "while the sons live in the house of their wives or their mother", i.e. move there (also known as Uxori locality: "residence with the wife").

Overall, matrilinearity is of decisive importance for social organization in around 20% of the 1300 ethnic groups that have now been recorded; these companies include:

  • the Akan in Ghana, Togo, and the Ivory Coast
  • the Tuareg in North Africa
  • the Makonde in Tanzania and Mozambique
  • the Serer in Senegal
  • the Chewa in Malawi
  • the Akebu in Togo
  • the Luvale in Angola and Zambia

Due to colonization and proselytizing or other social processes, however, these ethnic groups no longer show all the features of their assumed original culture, as can be shown with the example of the Minangkabau, whose history and current situation are well documented.

Example: The Minangkabau

In 19th-century writings based on the records of Dutch colonial officials, as well as in contemporary feminist matriarchal theses, the Minangkabau are cited as a classic example of "matriarchy". This designation was also adopted by a part of the Minangkabau in order to denote the maternal line of succession with a strong position of women as an essential element of their cultural identity.

With a total of over three million people, the Minangkabau on Sumatra are the largest known matrilineal population in the world. The kinship system also showed bilateral features: the father's lineage was called bako and the children liked to attend. Originally the Minangkabau practiced matrilocal rules of residence, today core families are a common way of life. The authority of the woman in the house was opposed to the representation by the man within the Matrilineage and in public; in some areas this dual authority still exists today. The Minangkabau are rice farmers, but even in pre-colonial times they did not practice traditional subsistence farming ; rather, it was also produced for the regional and national markets and for the world market since the 18th century, for example a special variety of cinnamon, dyed fruit and coffee. The equality of men and women in the Minangkabau was based on an interplay of male and female cultivation systems. According to their Adat law, land and means of production are common property . Women and men were given usage rights, which in turn were decided jointly by the oldest women and the male board members of the matrilineal groups. Both sexes were therefore equally economically secure. Men and women were able to dispose of personal income as “their own good”; when they died, it was shared with property. The Minangkabau know two forms of common ownership: that of the matrilineal groups ( harato pusako ) and that of the villages ( ulayat ); For several years there have been conflicts between Adat and Islamic law over their inheritance rules . In addition to the peasant, pre-state social structure, there was an aristocracy that did not hold any real political power, but controlled the gold trade and whose kings had great sacred authority. Their ethnic religion was animistic ; she knew shamans . The Minangkabau have been Muslims since Indonesia's independence in 1945, which resulted in the spiritual and religious primacy of men. The Minangkabau, however, continue to pass on the Adat , their unwritten law, and try to integrate its rules into their everyday lives (see Minangkabau culture ).

Matriarchy from an archaeological point of view

According to the broadest scientific consensus, there are currently matrilineal and matrilocal forms of society, but there is no anthropological or archaeological evidence for the idea of ​​a general “matriarchal phase” in human societies. Matrilinearity, i.e. the sequence of the kinship line from mother to daughter, is interpreted - for example by Sarah Blaffer Hrdy - as an effect of tribal horticulture in which women cultivate the land.

While older publications attempted to use Paleolithic figures, especially Venus statuettes , to support the idea of ​​the existence of matriarchies, this approach has been widely rejected as unsustainable by experts since the middle of the 20th century. The prehistoric historian and ethnologist Bärbel Auffermann writes about the “ Venus von Willendorf ”, a famous female statuette from the Upper Palaeolithic , of whose sacral significance and evidence of a matriarchal cosmology the supporters of a movement that unites spirituality with feminism are convinced:

“[…] There is one thing we will never be able to explain: why the figure was made. The answer to this question has been silent for tens of thousands of years. Any attempt at an answer today remains speculation. "

Specialists also deny that archaeological methods can provide extensive information about social structures. The matriarchy can neither be proven nor refuted by archaeological means, which also applies to the patriarchy.

The more recent archaeological research on the elite, which also deals with a critical comparison of archaeological and anthropological data and investigates the question of gender-specific grave goods, establishes a prominent position of women in the religious field as a continuum throughout prehistory and early history. There could also be references to social gender. “To want to infer the relationship between man and woman or the social position of women on the basis of grave equipment”, however, overwhelms the sources and methodology of archeology.

In university science, numerous hypotheses and methods are rejected, especially from classics of matriarchy research, such as historical speculation based solely on the interpretation of myths , legends and fairy tales . In response, female authors who hold to the matriarchy idea suggest following a more complex methodology . Specialized disciplines such as archeology , ethnology , religious studies , folklore and " oral history ", history , sociology, etc. are to be combined. The religious scholar Stefanie Knauß also emphasizes the need for interdisciplinary methods for researching the relationship between social form, religion, gender and the multi-dimensionality of gender roles in societies . Regarding Göttner-Abendroth's writings, however, she comments critically that this matriarchal research consists of collecting and assembling pieces of the mosaic from various sources and societies, and it remains questionable whether these sources are comparable. “[...] a collection of colored stones can ultimately result in very different images. The fact that in this case the image of the ideal matriarchal society arises is [...] due to the assumption [...] that matriarchies exist and 'only' have to be described in detail. "

Cultures cited for matriarchal theories

Statuettes of women from Hacilar, Southeast Anatolia, Turkey (Museum of Prehistory and Early History Berlin)

In addition to the Paleolithic , the Neolithic is considered to be matriarchal in matriarchal theories . A uniform matriarchal development in Europe is assumed. Heide Göttner-Abendroth in particular spread the assumption of a Neolithic matriarchy as a historical reality. The matriarchal society type to emerged globally in their opinion, in the Neolithic Age (Neolithic) and at the end of the Bronze Age have been forcibly removed. With this assumption, supporters of the matriarchal idea interpret all Neolithic sites as matriarchal and, in a circular way, as archaeological evidence of a matriarchal prehistory. According to Meret Fehlmann, this belief is fed by archaeological works “which no longer reflect the latest scientific status and testify to the fact that a number of great names, above all from English-speaking archeology ( Jacquetta Hawkes , James Mellaart , the discoverer of Çatalhöyük in the early 1960s Years, and Marija Gimbutas ) not only emerged with strictly scientific works, but also published books that were aimed at a wider audience. “This popularized the idea of ​​matriarchal prehistoric times, the results of their work and excavations would be from spiritual feminism and the feminist matriarchal research appropriated and further popularized.

Fertile crescent

Under this premise, the following archaeological cultures in Europe and the Middle East are discussed as historical matriarchates :

Occurrence of violence in the late Neolithic

The idea of ​​a Neolithic matriarchy is attempted to justify, among other things, that archaeological findings from this period do not show any signs of violence, war and social differences. Since the 1980s, however, more and more archaeological findings have been discovered, such as the Talheim massacre in Baden-Württemberg, the Schletz massacre in Lower Austria, the Kilianstädten massacre in Hesse and others that question this image of non-violent Neolithic societies. “As in Talheim, the perpetrators (in Schletz) proceeded with unbelievable brutality, which did not stop at children of all ages. All skulls show signs of massive violence [...] In this case, too, the perpetrators continued to beat their victims - preferably on the heads - when they were already defenseless on the ground. ”( Brigitte Röder ) The Tübingen prehistoric historian Jörg Petrasch tried, critically, to extrapolate the rate of violence to the total population in the ceramic band and came to the conclusion that such massacres could not have been singular events. Accordingly, acts of violence must have occurred regularly, albeit rarely, in the ceramic band societies. Aside from such fatal acts of violence, the anthropological publications on ribbon ceramic skeletons contain references to regular physical confrontations that were survived by the victims.

The prehistorian Eva-Maria Mertens showed on the basis of the band ceramics that this culture was not a peaceful one in the sense of the matriarchal supporters. In her study she comes to the conclusion: “If the thesis of the matriarchy researchers is correct that the period of the Neolithic was determined by matriarchy, then it was not a peaceful time despite the rule of women. But if the core premise for the proof of a matriarchy is non-violence or peacefulness, then at the end of the ceramic tape we cannot speak of a matriarchy. "Mertens emphasizes that such references to violence are not only characteristics of the first arable farmers in Central Europe. There are also regular references to people who were violently killed by the previous hunters in the late Mesolithic .

The Neolithic was accompanied by an increase in the population and the emergence of the first social differences and hierarchies as a result of the sedentary lifestyle associated with agriculture and animal husbandry. A gender-specific division of labor can be demonstrated on the basis of the skeleton finds, whereby mainly the female skeletons show arthrosis of the hand and other signs of wear and tear, which indicate the grinding of the grain in a kneeling position, and “female skeletons are becoming increasingly smaller and more delicate”. Injuries and diseases that can be detected in the skeleton are increasing dramatically (there are indications of diet-related diseases, for example found in half of the residents of Çatalhöyük); and it is not only among the band ceramists that skeletons - women and men - can be found that suggest a violent death. Likewise, the idea of ​​a peaceful treatment of nature is probably wrong, "the first farmers probably showed an exploitative attitude towards all resources - plants, animals, people."

Further assumptions to support the idea of ​​a Neolithic matriarchy are scientifically rejected, they are considered refuted in archeology and unscientific in terms of methodology. For example, the claim of matriarchal theorists that there is a continuity of meaning over millennia of symbols that are to be understood as the language of prehistoric times and, more simply, as symbols of the goddess. Blanket interpretations of feminine or anthropomorphic representations as goddesses and as an expression of religious continuity from the Paleolithic to the Neolithic (and beyond) - a period that spanned more than 20,000 years and was associated with far-reaching socio-cultural changes are also rejected.

"The common practice of jumping from Bronze Age European figurines to Palaeolithic Venuses and back again to neolithic material is in itself unscientific, for the figurines must be viewed against their economic and social backgrounds."

"The common practice of jumping from Bronze Age figurines to Paleolithic Venus and back again to Neolithic material is unscientific in itself, because the figurines have to be viewed in relation to their economic and social background."

- Peter J. Ucko , British anthropologist and archaeologist 1962

Hypotheses on the religion of historical matriarchies

Main article: Hypotheses on the religion of historical matriarchies

For many proponents of the thesis of the existence of historical matriarchies, but also of utopian ideas of matriarchy, the idea of ​​a cult of the Great Goddess was central. Johann Jakob Bachofen already made speculative assumptions in this regard. Influential and well-known hypotheses about religion and the cult of historical matriarchy were presented by Robert Graves and Göttner-Abendroth .

See also


  • Brigitte Röder , Juliane Hummel, Brigitta Kunz (eds.): Göttinnendämmerung. The matriarchy from an archaeological point of view. Droemer Knaur, Munich 1996, ISBN 3-426-26887-6 .
  • Lucy Goodison , Christine Morris (Eds.): Ancient Goddesses. The Myths and the Evidence. University of Wisconsin Press / British Museum Press, Madison 1999, ISBN 0-299-16320-2 ( Bryn Mawr Classical Review 1999 ).
  • Beate Wagner-Hasel: Matriarchy. In: Manfred Landfester (Ed.): Der Neue Pauly . Volume 15: History of reception and science. JB Metzler, Stuttgart / Weimar 2001, Sp. 321-329.
  • Janet Alison Hoskins: Matriarchy. In: MC Horowitz (Ed.): New Dictionary of the History of Ideas (DHI). Volume 4, Routledge, London / New York 2004, pp. 1384–1389 ( online in , scroll with the Next button).
  • Carol B. Duncan: Matriarchy and Patriarchy. In: William H. McNeill et al. a. (Ed.): Berkshire Encyclopedia Of World History. Volume 3, Berkshire, Great Barrington 2005, pp. 1218-1223.
  • Gabriela Schroffenegger (Ed.): Forms of resistance of matriarchal peoples. Lecture at the Institute for Educational Sciences at the University of Innsbruck. Science shop, Innsbruck 1994.


Web links

Wiktionary: Matriarchy  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica: matriarchy (social system). In: Encyclopædia Britannica . 2013, accessed on October 30, 2013 (English; July 2008, Elizabeth Prine Pauls): “matriarchy, hypothetical social system in which the mother or a female elder has absolute authority over the family group; by extension, one or more women (as in a council) exert a similar level of authority over the community as a whole. [...] The consensus among modern anthropologists and sociologists is that while many cultures bestow power preferentially on one sex or the other, matriarchal societies in this original, evolutionary sense have never existed. However, some scholars continue to use the terms matriarchy and patriarchy in the general sense for descriptive, analytical, and pedagogical purposes. "
  2. ^ A b E. W. Müller: Mother Law. In: Historical Dictionary of Philosophy (HWPh), Volume 6, 1984, p. 261.
  3. Elke Hartmann : On the history of the matriarchy idea. Inaugural lecture (= public lectures at the Humboldt University. Issue 133). University of Berlin 2004, accessed on October 30, 2013 (PDF; 304 kB; 37 pages).
  4. Meret Fehlmann: The speech of matriarchy. An argument about the history of use. Chronos Verlag Zurich 2011 (also dissertation, University of Zurich 2010), p. 21 ff. Compare also: Peter Davies: Myth, Matriarchy and Modernity. de Gruyter, 2010; Cynthia Eller: Gentlemen and Amazons. The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory. 1861-1900, University of California Press 2011.
  5. Birgit Heller : Matriarchy. In: Lexicon for Theology and Church . Volume 6, 1997, Sp. 1475. Similar to Gerda Lerner : The Creation of Patriarchy. Oxford University Press, New York 1986, ISBN 0-19-503996-3 , p. 31.
  6. The term gynaikokratie from ancient Greek gynaikokratia (women's rule ) can be traced back to the 4th century BC. Compare Uwe Wesel : The Myth of Matriarchy. 1980, p. 35.
  7. Compare e.g. B. Nancy Tanner: Matrifocality in Indonesia and Africa and Among Black Americans. In: Michelle Zimbalist Rosaldo, Louise Lamphere (Eds.): Women, Culture and Society. Stanford University Press, Stanford 1974, pp. 129–156, here p. 129: “Matrifocality is found within a variety of kinship types. […] Descent and matrifocality vary independently. […] This can occur in matrilineal and patrilinear systems as well as in bilateral system. ”See also: Gabriele Rasuly-Paleczek: Introduction to the Forms of Social Organization (Part 4/5). ( Memento of October 5, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Institute for Cultural and Social Anthropology, University of Vienna, 2011, p. 152, accessed on October 30, 2013 (PDF; 747 kB; in ). And: Brian Schwimmer: Matrifocality: An emerging empirical and theoretical issue. In: Tutorial: Kinship and Social Organization. Department of Anthropology, University of Manitoba, Canada 2003, accessed October 30, 2013.
  8. The Dutch legal ethnologist George Alexander Wilken was the first to use the term Matriarchat in 1884 with his book Das Matriarchat (The Mother Law) among the ancient Arabs . Compare Meret Fehlmann: The Speech of Matriarchy. 2011, p. 19.
  9. ^ Vocabulary entry: Matriarchy. In: Digital dictionary of the German language . Retrieved July 30, 2019
  10. See for example Ernst Kornemann : Mutterrecht. In: Paulys Realencyclopadie der classical antiquity . Supplement 6. Stuttgart 1935, Col. 557-571.
  11. The first description of a maternal society comes from the Iroquois missionary JF Lafitau: Moeurs des sauvages amér. comparées aux moeurs des premiers temps 1. 2 (Paris 1724). JJ Bachofen: The mother right. An Inquiry into the Old World Gynecocracy (1861). represents a theoretical-speculative reconstruction of the matriarchy in the early history of the Near East. Compare EW Müller: Mutterrecht. In: Historical Dictionary of Philosophy . (HWPh), Volume 6, 1984, p. 261.
  12. ^ Franz Borkenau : From the Minoan to the Greek culture. In: ders .: end and beginning. Stuttgart 1984 (Originally under the title Two treatises on Greek mythology in the journal Psyche. April 1953)
  13. Birgit Heller: Matriarchy. In: Lexicon for Theology and Church. Volume 6, 1997, Col. 1475: “The M [atriarchat] controversy is still ideologically overloaded today and [nd] often serves to legitimize social power relations”.
  14. Meret Fehlmann: The speech of matriarchy. Zurich 2011, p. 142.
  15. Meret Fehlmann: The speech of matriarchy. 2011, p. 260 f.
  16. ^ Elke Hartmann: On the history of the matriarchy idea (= public lectures of the Humboldt University. Issue 133). Berlin 2004 (inaugural lecture; 2nd edition 2006). compare also: Ilse Lenz : Gender-symmetrical societies: where neither women nor men rule. In: Ruth Becker, Beate Kortendiek (Hrsg.): Handbook women and gender research. Theory, methods, empiricism. 3. Edition. Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, Wiesbaden 2010, ISBN 978-3-531-17170-8 , pp. 30–31 ( page views in the 2nd edition from 2008 in the Google book search).
  17. Friedrich Heiler : The woman in the religions of mankind . (= Theological Library Töpelmann 33). De Gruyter, Berlin 1977.
  18. a b Birgit Heller: Matriarchy. In: Lexicon for Theology and Church . Vol. 6, 1997, col. 1475.
  19. Helga Laugsch: Der Matriarchatsdiskurs (2011), p. 92 f. Fehlmann: The speech of matriarchy, p. 67 ff.
  20. ^ Angela Schenkluhn: Matriarchy / Patriarchy. In: Kocku von Stuckrad (Ed.): The Brill Dictionary of Religion. Brill, Leiden / Boston 2006, pp. 1177–1179, here 1177: “Concepts of matriarchy are radically distinguished here from notions of cultural science like 'matrilinearity,' 'matrilocality,' and 'matrifocality,' which describe the organization of kinship in the 'succession of the mother'. But since matriarchy […] as a societal type is thus far sufficiently evidenced neither historically nor archaeologically, the central consideration of the concept of matriarchy should become that of a social myth within certain ideological systems. "
  21. ^ Angela Schenkluhn: Matriarchy / Patriarchy. In: Kocku von Stuckrad (Ed.): The Brill Dictionary of Religion. Brill, Leiden / Boston 2006, pp. 1177–1179, here 1177: “Dominant role of woman in society and politics ('matriarchy' in the strict sense)”, “Descendancy, and inheritance, family, or domicile rights determined through the maternal line ('matrilinearity,' 'matriarchy') "," Veneration of female divinities in religion and mythology ('mother deities' / goddesses) ".
  22. Cäcilia Rentmeister lists her ideal-typical characteristics of matriarchy most extensively in Frauenwelten - Männerwelten , 1985, pp. 32–40.
  23. Rentmeister in The example of South India shows where women are the sole owners of land or houses, they are significantly less likely to be victims of domestic violence. See Panda, Pradeep: Marital Violence, Human Development and Women's Property Status in India In: World Development. 33, No. 5, 2005.
  25. Heide Göttner-Abendroth: The goddess and her hero. Munich 1980, p. 30.
  26. Göttner-Abendroth quoted in Helga Laugsch: Der Matriarchatsdiskurs. Munich 2011, p. 201.
  27. a b cf. B. Heide Göttner-Abendroth : Definition of the social structure. In: Göttner-Abendroth (Ed.): Society in Balance. Edition Hagia / Kohlhammer, 2006, p. 22 f.
  28. Stefanie Knauss: Heide Göttner-Abendroth (born 1941). A critical presentation of the classic matriarchy research. In: Anna-Katharina Höpflinger, Ann Jeffers, Daria Pezzoli-Olgiati (eds.): Handbuch Gender und Religion , Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, first edition 2008, ISBN 978-3-8252-3062-3 , p. 99.
  29. ^ See for example Omar Rolf von Ehrenfels : Motherright in India. 1941.
  30. ^ Ifi Amadiume: Reinventing Africa: Matriarchy, Religion and Culture. Zed Books / St. Martin's Press, London / New Jersey 1997, ISBN 1-85649-534-5 . Same: Male Daughters, Female Husbands: Social Roles and Gender in an African Society . Rotpunktverlag, Zurich 1996, ISBN 3-85869-067-8 .
  31. ^ Martha Harroun Foster: Lost Women of the Matriarchy: Iroquois Women in the Historical Literature. UCLA American Indian Studies Center, 1995 (English; doi: 10.17953 / aicr.19.3.y227696897834055 ).
    Same: We Know Who We Are: Métis Identity in a Montana Community . March 2007 (English; review on
  32. Compare for example Ilse Lenz : Gender-symmetrical societies. New approaches after the matriarchy debate. In: Ilse Lenz, Ute Luig (eds.): Women's power without rule. Gender relations in non-patriarchal societies. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 1995, ISBN 3-596-12827-7 , p. 26 ff. (First edition 1990).
  33. ^ A b G. Wilhelm: Matrilinearity. B. With the Hittites. In: Reallexikon der Assyriologie und Vorderasiatischen Aräologie . Volume 7, delivery 7th-8th, de Gruyter, Berlin a. a. 1990, pp. 588-590, here p. 588.
  34. Hans-Rudolf Wicker: Guide for the introductory lecture in ethnosociology. ( Memento of October 21, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF: 532 kB, 45 pages) Institute for Social Anthropology, University of Bern, 2005, p. 11, accessed on March 13, 2020. Quotation: “Unilinear descent is found in accentuated form in many societies in which important goods (land, cattle) have to be divided up and bequeathed. Agricultural societies (e.g. China and Japan) or cattle breeding societies (Central Asia, the Near East, East Africa) therefore produced unilinearly organized relationships far more frequently than hunters. The sedentary way of life promotes territorial identification and the emphasis on group unity and solidarity. For example, the Nuer in southern Sudan (Evans-Pritchard 1940) and the Tallensi of Ghana (Fortes 1945) are patrilinearly organized. The Nayar in South India, Navajo, Trobriander, Iroquois, Tonga, Munduruku, for example, are organized in a matrilineal manner [...]. "
  35. William Tulio Divale: An Explanation for matrilocal residence. In: Dana Raphael (Ed.): Being Female. Reproduction, Power and Change. Series: World Anthropology. Mouton, Den Haag 1975, ISBN 978-90-279-7599-7 , pp. 99-108 ( page views in the Google book search).
  36. ^ Gabriele Herzog-Schröder: Okoyoma - The cancer hunters. About the life of the Yanomamï women in southern Venezuela. Lit, Münster u. a. 2003, ISBN 3-8258-5082-X , p. 61 (doctoral thesis, revised edition; side view in the Google book search).
  37. The Ethnographic Atlas by George P. Murdock now contains data sets on 1300 ethnic groups (as of December 2012 in the InterSciWiki ), of which often only samples were evaluated.
  38. ^ J. Patrick Gray: Ethnographic Atlas Codebook. In: World Cultures. Volume 10, No. 1, 1998, pp. 86-136, here p. 104: Table 43 Descent: Major Type ( PDF; 2.4 MB; without page numbers). Quote:
    "17 Missing data [....... 1.3%]
    584 Patrilineal [.......... 46.1%]
    052 Duolateral [.......... .. 4.1% = bilinear]
    160 Matrilineal [.......... 12.6%]
    011 Quasi-lineages [... 0.9% = parallel]
    049 Ambilineal [..... ....... 3.9%]
    349 Bilateral [............... 27.6% = cognatic]
    045 Mixed “ ......................3.6% of a total of 1267 ethnic groups worldwide (1998), meanwhile: 1300.
  39. Hans-Rudolf Wicker: Guide for the introductory lecture in ethnosociology. ( Memento of October 21, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF: 532 kB, 45 pages) University of Bern 2005, p. 13, accessed on March 13, 2020. The numbers on p. 13:
    164 matrilineal ethnic groups - based on their marital domicile of marriage ( residence rule ):
  40. Ilse Lenz : Gender-symmetrical societies: where neither women nor men rule. In: Ruth Becker, Beate Kortendiek (Hrsg.): Handbook women and gender research. Theory, methods, empiricism. 3. Edition. Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, Wiesbaden 2010, ISBN 978-3-531-17170-8 , p. 31 ( side view in the 2nd edition from 2008 in the Google book search). Quote: "Equality is understood as an equal distribution of power and social opportunities between the adult members of a society".
  41. ^ Keebet von Benda-Beckmann, Franz von Benda-Beckmann : Struggles over communal property rights and law in Minangkabau, West Sumatra. Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle 2004.
  42. Ilse Lenz : Gender symmetry as a network of women and men’s power. To the Minangkabau in the pre-conial era. In: Ilse Lenz, Ute Luig (eds.): Women's power without rule. Gender relations in non-patriarchal societies. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 1995, ISBN 3-596-12827-7 (first edition 1990).
  43. Ute Marie Metje: The strong women. Talks about gender relations among the Minangkabau in Indonesia. Campus, Frankfurt 1999, ISBN 3-593-35409-8 ; same: With the Minangkabau. About gender relations in Western Sumatra. ( Memento from July 13, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) In: Museum of World Cultures, Frankfurt 2004.
  44. SB Hrdy: The Woman That Never Evolved. Harvard University Press, Cambridge 1981.
  45. ^ Russell Dale Guthrie: The nature of Paleolithic art. University of Chicago Press, London 2005, p. 368 ( direct link to page 368 in the Google book search), with reference to Hrdy 1981 and S. Goldberg: The erosion of the social sciences. In: K. Washburn, JF Thornton (Eds.): Dumbing Down. WW Norton, New York 1996, pp. 97-113.
  46. VG Childe: Social organzisation. Watts, London 1951; Cited by Russell Dale Guthrie: The nature of Paleolithic art. University of Chicago Press, London 2005, p. 368 ( available from Google Books ).
  47. Bärbel Auffermann In: Women - Times - Traces. Text book for the exhibition in the Neanderthal Museum Mettmann. 1998, p. 193. Auffermann is the museum's deputy director.
  48. ^ Brigitte Röder, Juliane Hummel, Brigitta Kunz: Göttinnendämmerung. The matriarchy from an archaeological point of view. Droemer Knaur, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-933939-27-5 .
  49. Dieter Quast (Ed.): Female Elites in Early History , International Conference from June 13 to 14, 2008 in the RGZM as part of the research focus »Elites«, Verlag des Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseums, Mainz 2011, introduction online
  50. Margaret Ehrenberg: Women in Prehistory. London British Museum Publications 1989, ISBN 0-7141-1388-3 ; Bruce Trigger: A History of Archaeological Thoughts. 2nd Edition. Cambridge University Press, 2006, quoted in: Meret Fehlmann: Die Rede vom Matriarchat. Zurich 2011, p. 135 ff.
  51. a b Stefanie Knauß: Heide Göttner-Abendroth (born 1941). A critical presentation of the classic matriarchy research. In: A.-K. Höpflinger, A. Jeffers, D. Pezzoli-Olgiati (eds.): Handbook Gender and Religion. UTB / Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8252-3062-3 , p. 100. ( can be viewed in part at Libreka)
  52. Stefanie Knauß: Heide Göttner-Abendroth (born 1941). A critical presentation of the classic matriarchy research. In: A.-K. Höpflinger, A. Jeffers, D. Pezzoli-Olgiati (eds.): Handbook Gender and Religion. UTB / Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8252-3062-3 , pp. 95-106. (partially available from Libreka) Here p. 99.
  53. Heide Göttner-Abendroth: Matriarchy. Research and vision for the future. In: Ruth Becker, Beate Kortendiek (Hrsg.): Handbook women and gender research. Theory, methods, empiricism. 3. Edition. Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, Wiesbaden 2010, ISBN 978-3-531-17170-8 , p. 23 ( side view of the 2nd edition from 2008 in the Google book search).
  54. Meret Fehlmann: The speech of matriarchy. To the history of use of an argument. Chronos Verlag, Zurich 2011, p. 135 ff., P. 162.
  55. Ursula Eisenhauer: Youth band ceramic residence rules. Patrilocality in Talheim. In: Jörg Eckert, Ursula Eisenhauer, Andreas Zimmermann (Hrsg.): Archäologische Perspektiven. Analyzes and interpretations in transition. Rahden Westf. 2003, ISBN 3-89646-400-0 , pp. 562-573.
  56. Joachim Wahl, Hans Günther König: Anthropological-traumatic investigation of the human skeletal remains from the band ceramic mass grave near Talheim, Heilbronn district. In: Find reports Baden-Württemberg. 12, 1987.
  57. Brigitte Röder: Neolithic - women's time? Women in early farming societies in Central Europe. In: Women - Times - Traces. Neanderthal Museum Mettmann 1998, p. 264 ff.
  58. Jörg Petrasch: Murder and War in the Band Ceramics. In: Archaeological correspondence sheet. 29/1999, Verlag des Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum Mainz, pp. 505-516.
  59. Jörg Petrasch: Violence in the Stone Age - Archaeological-cultural-historical analyzes to determine their frequency ". In: Piek, Terberger (Hrsg.): Early traces of violence . In: Contributions to the prehistory and early history of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Vol. 41, Schwerin 2006. (PDF; 1.8 MB) ; accessed on January 10, 2016
  60. Eva-Maria Mertens: The myth of the peaceful matriarchy. In: Antje Hilbig, Claudia Kajatin, Ingrid Miethe (eds.): Women and violence. Interdisciplinary research on gender-based violence in theory and practice. Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 2003, pp. 33–46. limited preview in Google Book search
  61. Margaret Ehrenberg: Women in Prehistory. 1996; Röder, Hummel, Kunz: goddess twilight. 1996; Timothy Taylor: The Prehistory of Sex. 1998; Gilles and Brigitte Delluc: Le sexe au temps des Cro-Magnons. 2006, quoted by Meret Fehlmann: The speech of matriarchy. Zurich 2011, chapter archeology or the search for matriarchy, pp. 144–159.
  62. ^ Peter Ucko : The Interpretation of Prehistoric Anthropomorphic Figurines. In: The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland. Volume 92, No. 1, January – June 1962, pp. 38–54, here p. 39 (English; online at