08/02/07

  16:58:25, by admin   . Categories: culture traditions, Africa, gender

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.

Okrane explains:

"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)

ON MATRILINEAL SOCIETIES SEE ALSO:

SW China: Where women rule the world and don't marry


Eggi's Village. Life Among the Minangkabau of Indonesia (another matrilineal society)

A Society Without Husbands or Fathers

Contemporary matriarchal societies: The Nagovisi, Khasi, Garo, and Machiguenga

Matriarchy: history or reality?

Matriarchy.info

Anthropologists: U.S. Marriage Model Is Not Universal Norm

2 comments

Comment from: [Member]
schn

I find the arcticle very interesting. But the US and Europe are starting to come that way. If there is a religious revial of Some hard-cord culturial Protestents. Western Culture may only go so far. Womenkind of the Western World may not want that either.
I was an Anthrology Major. Then became a Religion/Theology Major. Graduated with Behavioral Science Major. But Living Society always surprises everyone!

2007-02-24 @ 23:12
Comment from: Salima [Visitor]  
Salima

This is working for this region of the world. These Christian missionaries are always coming into another country and trying to indoctrinate people. If it’s working and the people are getting along, Leave them alone.

2017-04-24 @ 22:53


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