A Systematic Review Of “Modern Matriarchy” Featuring The Khasi, The Mosuo, The Bribri, The Minangkabau, The Akana, The Umoja

Dyah Sulistyaningrum(1*), Siti Drivoka Sulistyaningrum(2), Sri Sumarni(3)

(1) Universitas Negeri Jakarta
(2) Universitas Negeri Jakarta
(3) Universitas Negeri Jakarta
(*) Corresponding Author


The term “matriarchy” should be retained, and a new structural description should be used to describe their fundamental structure, according to this study where the hypothesis depends on diverse concentrate on surviving native human advancements' financial, social, political, and social angles (Goettner, 2018). It will be demonstrated that matriarchy is consensus-based, gender-equal communities that foster peace and sustainability. Six examples include the Mosuo of Southwest China, the BriBri of Costa Rica, the Umoja of Kenya, the Minangkabau of Indonesia, the Akana of Ghana, and the Khasi of Northeastern India. The focus of this study is not on ethnographic parallels and contrasts, but on what constitutes them “matriarchies” and how the concept can accommodate variability, expanding our understanding of these civilizations. Conclusions summarize the conversation, emphasize the topics of politic and discuss the existences of modern matriarchy in the future.


Definition of matriarchy, Tribes of matriarchy, Matriarchy in indigenous societies

Full Text:



Bachofen, J. (1967). Myth, religion, and mother right. Princeston, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Bareh, H. (1967). The History and Culture of the Khasi People. Guahati: Spectrum Publications.

Bucher, A. (1964). Der Kreislauf von Sonne und Mond in Religion und Magie bei den Völkern Assams, Burmas und benachbarter Gebiete (The rotation of sun and moon in religion and magic among the people of Assam, Burm, and neighboring regions). Anthropos, 59(5/6), 721–758. http://www.jstor.org/stable/40456356

Clarke, C. B. (1874). The Stone Monuments of the Khasi Hills. The Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, 3, 481–493. https://doi.org/10.2307/2840920

CHRIST, C. P. (2012). [Review of Societies of Peace: Matriarchies Past, Present, and Future, by H. Goettner-Abendroth]. Literature and Theology, 26(1), 108–110. http://www.jstor.org/stable/23927538

Eberhard, W., & Eberhard, A. (1968). The local cultures of south and east China.

Eberhard, W. (1942). Kultur und Siedlung der Randvölker Chinas (Local cultures in ancient China). T’oung Pao, 36, I–506. http://www.jstor.org/stable/4527218

Gatusa, L. (2009). Matriarchal marriage patterns of the Mosuo people of China. In H. Gottner-Abendroth (Ed.), Societies of peace: Matriarchies past, present and future (pp. 240-248). Toronto, Canada: Inanna Publications.

H. H. Godwin-Austen. (1872). On the Stone Monuments of the Khasi Hill Tribes, and on Some of the Peculiar Rites and Customs of the People. The Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, 1, 122–143. https://doi.org/10.2307/2840948

Fox, James. (2015). Eastern Indonesia in Austronesian Perspective: The Evidence of Relational Terminologies. Archipel. 189-216. http://doi.org/10.4000/archipel.375

Göttner-Abendroth, H. (1998). Matriarchat in Südchina (1st ed.). Kohlhammer. Retrieved from https://www.perlego.com/book/1075497/matriarchat-in-sdchina-eine-forschungsreise-zu-den-mosuo-pdf (Original work published 1998)

Goettner-Abendroth, H. (Ed.). (2006). Gesellschaft in Balance: Dokumentation des ersten Weltkongresses für Matriarchatsforschung in Luxemburg 2003 [Society in balance: Documentation of the first world congress of matriarchal studies in Luxemburg 2003]. Stuttgart, Germany: Edition HAGIA and Kohlhammer Verlag.

Göttner-Abendroth, H. (2009). Societies of Peace: Matriarchies Past, Present and Future : Selected Papers, First World Congress on

Matriarchal Studies, 2003, Second World Congress on Matriarchal Studies, 2005. Inanna Publications & Education.

Goettner-Abendroth, H. (2013). Matriarchal societies: Studies on indigenous cultures across the globe. Matriarchal Societies: Studies on Indigenous Cultures Across the Globe. 1-533.

Goettner-Abendroth, Heide. (2018). Re-thinking 'Matriarchy' in Modern Matriarchal Studies using two examples: The Khasi and the Mosuo. Asian Journal of Women's Studies. 24. 3-27.


Herrmann, A. G. (1937). Historical and Commercial Atlas of China. Artibus Asiae, 7(1/4), 247. https://doi.org/10.2307/3250363

Kiona Lindsay Online Presentations Channel. (2014.). https://www.slideserve.com/kiona-lindsay

Mukhim, P. (2009). Khasi matrilineal society: Challenges in the 21st century. In H. Göttner-Abendroth (Ed.), Societies of peace: Matriarchies past, present and future (pp. 193-204). Toronto, Canada: Inanna Publications.

Nakane, C. (1969). Garo and Khasi: A Comparative Study in Matrilineal Systems. Pacific Affairs, 42(2), 237. https://doi.org/10.2307/2754416

Natarajan, N. (1977). The missionary among the Khasis. In Sterling Publishers eBooks. Sterling Publishers. http://ci.nii.ac.jp/ncid/BA47623623

Pakyntein, V. (2000). Gender Preference in Khasi Society: An Evaluation of Tradition, Change and Continuity. Indian Anthropologist, 30(1/2), 27–35. http://www.jstor.org/stable/41919870

Rock, J. F. (1949). The Ancient Na-Khi Kingdom of Southwest China. The Geographical Journal. https://doi.org/10.2307/1789997

Roy, D. (1963). The Megalithic Culture of the Khasis. Anthropos, 58(3/4), 520–556. http://www.jstor.org/stable/40455968

Roy, P. (1964). Christianity and the Khasi. Man in India, 44(2), 105-115.

Shadap-Sen, N. C. (1981). The Origin and Early History of the Khasi-Synteng People. Calcutta : Firma KLM.

Stark, A. (2013). The Matrilineal System of the Minangkabau and its Persistence Throughout History: A Structural Perspective.

Vaughan, G. (1997). For-giving: A feminist criticism of exchange. Austin, TX: Plain View and Anomaly Press.

Vaughan, G., & Sayıt, S. (2004). Bağışlamak: Kadın gözüyle bir karşılıklı özveri eleştirisi [Donation: A critical analysis on women’s self-sacrifice]. İstanbul: KaraKutu.

Yan, R. (2009). The kinship system of the Musuo in China. In H. Gottner-Abendroth (Ed.), Societies of peace: Matriarchies past, present and future (pp. 230-239). Toronto, Canada: Inanna Publication

Read more at:





DV Goettner-Abendroth-H-Rethinking-Matriarchy-in-Modern-Matriarchal-Studies-Using-Two-Examples-the-Khasi-and-the-Musuo.pdf

https://www.townandcountrymag.com/society/tradition/g28565280/matriarchal-societies-list/SARAH MADAUS


https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rstb.2018.0077 160 Matrilineal Population



Article Metrics

Abstract view : 529 times
PDF - 117 times


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2023 English Language and Literature International Conference (ELLiC) Proceedings

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Electronic ISSN: 2579-7263
CD-ROM ISSN: 2579-7549

Published by

Jl. Kedungmundu Raya No.18 Semarang, Central Java, Indonesia
Phone: +622476740295, email: [email protected]