Matrilineal is a kinship system adopted by several world tribes

Matrilineal is – Matrilineal is a kinship system that draws bloodline from the mother’s side only. The child will then be connected to the mother including connected to the mother’s relatives, based on the unilateral female lineage.

The consequence of this kinship system is to attract offspring from the mother’s line which is considered very important. In matters of inheritance, it is the people from the mother’s line who will get more portions than those from the father’s line.

This kinship system can then be found in the Minangkabau and Semando communities. Children who are related to their mother based on female lineage.

In a matrilineal society, descent according to the mother’s own line is considered very important, so that it will give rise to family relations that are far more pervasive in families with descent according to the mother’s line. In Indonesia, this kinship system applies to the Minangkabau people.

Matrilineal in the Minangkabau Tribe

In family relationships there is a kinship system. This kinship system will then connect a nuclear family or small family with extended family members. Unlike the patrilineal kinship system adopted by tribes in general, the matrilineal system itself is rarely used.

In Indonesia there are not many tribes that adhere to this kinship system. However, one of the surviving tribes adhering to the matrilineal system is the Minangkabau tribe. The existence of the Minangkabau tribe dominates the province of West Sumatra with a large population.

Here are some unique facts regarding the matrilineal system adopted by the Minangkabau tribe that you need to know.

1. Doing Exogamy Marriage

In the matrilineal system, adat in Minangkabau does not support inter-tribal marriages. Even if they come from a different nagari (a village or area) but have the same tribe, then marriage is still seen as something that is not good.

Minangkabau custom is often concerned about damage to the ethnic line if two people from the same ethnic group marry. Those who end up violating these provisions will generally receive social sanctions, such as being ostracized from society.

With regard to exogamy marriages, it is not uncommon for the man to be given the dowry. The position of men with this condition will make them referred to as pick-up people. After marriage, a man will become a “guest” because they will then live in his wife’s family home.

2. The generation that is born will affect the size of the Gadang house that is inhabited

Rumah Gadang is an heirloom and is a place for various important events, from birth ceremonies to weddings. If a man has a family, the Gadang house is occupied by his sister with her husband and their children.

Home development will also adapt to the needs of girls. The more contents, the bigger the size of the house. Women also play a central role in the family structure. Several experts such as Naim, Anwar, and M. Radjab then mentioned what the meaning of family in a Gadang house includes, includingparuik, jurai, and samande.

Paruik is a term for 5–6 generations who occupy the Gadang house. This larger group is also known as jurai, while the smaller group is also known as samande.

In general, there is no neglect because each generation and group has an equally important role. For the Minangkabau people, living with a large family is the same as receiving great protection from the family.

Parents have responsibility for the survival of children, while children are responsible for families with old age. If these two provisions do not work, the responsibility will then be transferred to the saparuik family members.

If not, it will be taken over by members of the sajurai family, and so on up to a higher family level

3. Name of Descendant Withdrawn from One of the Parties

Matrilineal is a term that refers to a kinship system that draws lineage from the female (mother), both sons and daughters. They then bear the tribe in their name according to the tribe owned by the mother.

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Starting from the ancestors to the newly born generation, Minangkabau children generally will not use the tribe from their father’s side. Because of this, the birth of a daughter was welcomed very well because later she would become the successor to the lineage of her tribe.

4. Inheritance for Collective Use

As previously mentioned, the Minangkabau people then have a very close relationship with their relatives. The strength of this relationship itself is based on common goals and interests, namely the ownership of houses and land.

So, even though women play a big role in ethnicity, it does not mean that women will get full power over inheritance or inheritance in their family. The Minangkabau people have the philosophy of Adat Basandi Syarak, Syarak Basandi Kitabullah. This means that besides adhering to adat, the Minangkabau people will also make Islamic teachings a guide in life, including in the distribution of inheritance.

Minangkabau people in general also adhere to inheritance from mamak (uncle or mother’s brother) to nephews. From the division of this inheritance, usually the inheritance will be used jointly by the recipient of the inheritance with other family members. In a way, the inherited property then cannot be divided and must remain intact because it belongs together.

5. There are some relationships between women and men in the system

The matrilineal system adopted by the Minangkabau tribe causes women and men to receive different titles. The difference itself depends on the type of relationship that is established. Here’s an explanation.

  • Mother-niece relationship. Mamak is the name for the uncle and nephew is the name for the uncle’s nephew. This relationship itself is established between the uncle and the child of his sister or the relationship between a man or a woman and his uncle.
    It is Mamak who will play an important role in preserving the matrilineal system. He also served as a protector for his family at the Gadang house. Starting from guiding daughters to continue the matrilineal system of their tribe to guiding boys to be wise if one day they are faced with inheritance.
  • The relationship is based on the Bako mother and the banana child. Induk bako is a term for a woman when it comes to the child of her brother. Meanwhile, the banana child itself shows the relationship between men and women with their father’s sister. The role of women here will be even wider when compared to the relationship in the previous point.
  • Relations on the basis of trust. Husbands will be called sumando because they will be the party who stays in or lives in the house of his wife’s family while the wife is called pasumandan because they become the party that is boarded.

Even though it is somewhat complex, it cannot be denied that the matrilineal system which was later adopted by the Minangkabau tribe has given birth to a generation of strong women. The role of women in the Minang realm itself then occupies a high position until now.

Ethnicity in a World that Still Executes Matrilineal Customs

As we already know, matrilineal is a custom that passes inheritance to women or from the mother’s line. Apart from Indonesia, there are several ethnic groups in the world who still adhere to matrilineal culture, which countries are they?

1. Minangkabau

In the Minangkabau community, also known as Minang, located in Indonesia, all property, land and inheritance are passed from mother to daughter. Meanwhile, the father’s income will be passed on to the son.

In the past, this would then make women in Minang have power, but now, low incomes have contributed little to changes in modern social life. Even so, inheritance continues to be passed down to the mother’s line and the mother is still the head of the family.

The groom will generally be given to the bride from a female family member, who will escort him to the bride’s house. Overall power and authority would be divided equally between men and women, with women ruling the house, while men had spiritual and political roles. Both parties believed that this would make them equal.

Women in Minang have the right and power to choose a man to be made the chief of the tribe, then remove him from that position if it is felt that he is not the right person to be made the chief of the tribe.

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2. Will

The Akan people are a multi-ethnic group in Ghana, where everything is governed according to matrilineal custom. In Ghana men are often the leaders of the tribe, while their power stems from the matrilineal line.

The men will not only help their own families, but also the families of the women. In general, women in Ghana will carry out many rituals and ceremonies, such as funerals, making food, as well as various house rules.

3. Mosoo

Mosuo China is a tribe that lives at the foot of the Himalayas. Mosuo is one of the most well-known examples of a society with matrilineal customs. They even have a tradition of “walking marriage” where women then have the right to choose their partner by walking directly to the house of the man they choose.

In this tribe the woman is entitled to more than one man and undergoes more than one marriage. Their offspring will later bear the last name and live with their mother, while the male may or may not be involved in raising the child.

4. Bribri

Located in northern Panama and Costa Rica, Bribri adheres to a matrilineal custom in which women inherit land and create a large family. The children who will enter the family of their mother and a grandmother are then seen as bearers of tradition and a source of knowledge.

While men with important roles are not allowed to impart knowledge or give jobs to their sons, only the sons of their sisters.

The women then have the right to prepare cocoa for the sacred Bribri ritual as one of the most important things in a tribe.

5. Garo

Garo is an indigenous tribe in Bangladesh and India. The Garo gave their tribal name after their mother, with the youngest daughter to be heir to all of the mother’s property. Adhering to the matrilineal custom, the women from Garo hold power and will be given the right to rule in the house.

6. Tuaregs

The Tuareg consist of a Berber people who have a nomadic lifestyle in the Sahara desert area. In social life, the women of the Tuareg will then have a high status and every tribe within it will be gathered together so that everyone can listen to the women who write and read.

While the men will raise animals. Most of the property and livestock will be owned by women, while private property will be inherited regardless of gender. Although the majority of them adhere to Islam, the Tuareg ethnicity is also influenced by several other cultures, one of which is matrilineal.

Matrilineal Related Books

1. Chinese Padang people – Dima the Earth is stepped on, Disinan Langik is upheld

There are two kongsi that are the pillars of Chinese society – the gedang and kecik kongsi, the temple as a moral binder and guardian of civilization, as well as close interaction with the Minang community based on a common language. As a result of this adaptation process, their culture now appears with mixed Chinese and Minang characteristics or is experiencing cultural hybridity.

2. Cultural Communication Understanding Interhuman and Intercultural Communication

Intercultural communication is the process of exchanging thoughts and meanings between people of different cultures. When communication occurs between people of different nationalities, racial groups or language communities, the communication is called intercultural communication (hereinafter referred to as KAB).

So basically intercultural communication examines how culture influences communication activities, what are the meanings of verbal and nonverbal messages according to the cultures concerned, what is appropriate to be communicated, when to communicate it, and how to communicate it verbally and nonverbally.

3. Intercultural Communication in the Age of Cyber ​​Culture

The development and growth of the internet today has changed the face of the world. There are many things that have changed. Things that were previously limited by geographic conditions and terrain are now slowly fading away, making the exchange of information take place continuously all the time.

But on the other hand, this condition also blurs the boundaries between cultures, changes the way of communicating between cultures, and directly or indirectly creates a mixture of cultures.

Now we know that matrilineal is a system of kinship and culture or custom which is still carried out by several tribes in the world, including the Minang tribe in Indonesia. Sinaumed’s can read books related to culture on so they can understand it better. As #FriendsWithoutLimits, sinaumedia always provides the best products so you have #MoreWithReading information.