On African Island: Only women are allowed to propose marriage
"Now the world is upside down," complaines 90-year-old Cesar Okrane. "Men are running after women, instead of waiting for them to come to them." Christian missionaries challenge a unique tradition on Orango Island (Guinea-Bissau). Here it's women who choose their spouses and men are not allowed to propose marriage, according to AP-writer Rukmini Callimachi.
Women make their proposals public by offering their grooms-to-be a dish of distinctively prepared fish, marinated in red palm oil. Once they have asked, men are powerless to say no, we read.
"The choice of a woman is much more stable. "Rarely were there divorces before. Now, with men choosing, divorce has become common."
65-year-old Carvadju Jose Nananghe says:
"Love comes first into the heart of the woman. Once it's in the woman, only then can it jump into the man."
He was married when he was 14. A girl entered his grass-covered hut and placed a plate of steaming fish in front of him. "I had no feelings for her", he says. "Then when I ate this meal, it was like lightning. I wanted only her."
There are matrilineal cultures in numerous pockets of the world. But according to anthropologist Christine Henry the unquestioned authority given to women in matters of the heart on Orango island is unique. "I don't know of it happening anywhere else", she says.
Christian missionaries, who have established churches on this island, have started to challenge this tradition. 19-year-old Marisa de Pina says the Protestant church has taught her that it is men, not women, who should make the first move and so she plans to wait for a man to approach her.
>> read the whole story in USA Today (link updated 16.6.18)
ON MATRILINEAL SOCIETIES SEE ALSO:
Eggi's Village. Life Among the Minangkabau of Indonesia (another matrilineal society)