680

 

Lindberg de Geer doesn´t hesitate to challenge the scholarly authorities by telling the truth about matriarchies and their abhorrent female domination and oppression of men.

 

This is the history lesson we are taught by the bold challenger:

 

Thesis and antithesis of female vs male domination has coined our past, now we are looking forward to the emergence of the peaceful times of synthesis to come ....

 

And I suppose MLG imagine this to come true as soon as modernity has saved humanity from its inherit wickedness and desire to oppress the opposite sex.

 

At quite a few occasions now I have  heard MLG lament over the poor old man on the Bijagos island and his fellow countrymen, whose misery she once, over thirty years ago, in the 80´s witnessed in a documentary made by the Swedish filmmaker Leyla Assaf Tengroth, called:"Our God is a Woman".

 

Since he got afflicted by an awful illness, it is said  that no woman wants him any more, and that he is doomed to survive on the fringe of the community and manage from in principle nothing, trying to make some artisan work from which he "gets nothing",  his children sometimes bidding him some small scraps to eat, though.

 

And not only him, being so harshly and brutally doomed to stay outside the community in lousy huts, it´s said, but also the young men not already married, being terrified of the prospect of being left on their own because of no woman wanting to marry them, doing their best to dress up and look good by the performing of their dance for the women too choose the men they want to marry.

Skärmavbild 2017-07-27 kl. 11.53.42

 

SERIOUSLY SPOKEN  broadcasting/

MARIANNE LINDBERG DE GEER

tells us the truth about the violent and opressing matriarchy

 

-Does it exist matriarchies, an elderly man asks whose name is Anders, calling the hostess of the broadcasting program "Seriously Spoken"; Marianne Lindberg de Geer on SR P1, introducing himself as quite an "ordinary  man" and father of three sons and three daughters and being a surgeon as his profession. The old man tells he has began to incresingly worry about all the violence exerted in the world and not at least the sexualised violence directed against women. And now his question therefore is, if it nonetheless wouldn´t be better with matriarchies ruling this world.

Now it is no longer a matter of condemning the rumour of the existence of matriarchy as an "unscientific myth" the way the third-wavers are taught to do in their doctoral courses in archeology /anthropology and religion history by rattling off a few lines by the German classist Beate Wagner Hasel, or  the courses of their professors banning the wicked "unscientifical" witches, but to state facts. Indeed, Marianne Lindberg de Geer has watched the only documentary about matriarchy ever published in this country: "Our God is a Woman" by Leyla Tengroth in 1984, with her sequel a few decades later "The Women´s Island". I myself remember it very well, because of it´s making an unforgettable impression of depicting a total topsy turval model of society,  mirroring our own 180 degrees with female chauvinism and male subordination.

"Aren´t women more righteous than men? Aren´t women less violent than men, and wouldn´t nations built by matriarchy make up a more peaceful world?", was the question the artist and opinionator Marianne Lindberg de Geer now had to deal with and she wasn´t dilatory to grapple with her task. Everyone who knew her from before, now knew exactly what was to come and how the indignation would pounce and hurry over how horrendous women behave as soon as they hold power.

 

Alas let us listen to MLG sinking her teeth into this topic:

 

"Hello Anders!

In the 80´s I saw a movie I never will forget. The film is called "Our God is a Woman" and I will try to make a recount of it. In the beginning of the movie - we are in Westafrica meeting with two young beautiful men in the outskirts of the village - they are both overshadowed with pearl necklace feathers and other statue-enhancing ornaments. In front of the camera, they express great concern about getting old and thus rejected. Because no woman has yet chosen them to become their husbands and now they are terrified over the mere  thought of a future thrown out of the community and bundled off from the center where they currently are as young lovers to the female houskeepers, to the periphery where they live alone in lousy huts and feed themselves of whatever can be chased or picked. These men don´t question the order of things, because as the woman is the one who give birth to children, she is God. Without her, the tribe would succumb. The woman is holy. The oldest woman owns the house, and when she dies it will be inherited by the oldest daughter. In this matriarchy, the girl may at any time take a lover and even have a cild together with him. But if she prefers someone else she will marry him, the lover has to go out and the new man becomes the father of all the children.

Skärmavbild 2017-08-30 kl. 00.42.44

The women wear simple skirts of bast. Have no special ornaments. The hair is kept short. They do not cook. Most often they sit in a ring in front of the campfire in the middle of the village, smoking the pipe and taking care of all the decisions that belong to the village's life and organization. Some special evenings in the month at nightfall  the men are dancing for the women adorned in party clothes. They hope that some women, old or young, will cotton to them and incorporate them into their households. A few times a year the women disappear and bring their sexually-mature girls with them. The men do not know where they are going. As the film director Leyla Tengroth believed, the women wandered to nearby villages in order to get men to the younger generation of women - matriarchs - to avoid inbreeding. Children born defective are, as in Moses´ time, pushed out in small boats made by grass on the the sea, which extinguishes them. The technological development of the city remains at the stone age level and there are no desires for development. What works is good.

Leyla Assaf Tengroth revisited the village several decades later and found a fragment - a rest of the former matriarchal village, and yes, more respect for women than in the neighborhoods - but  not much more.

As a physician you know that it´s needed much more than ONE example for to underpin the relevance of research. But for me, as a young woman, to face this topsy-turvy world, weeping in my  handkerchief over these men´s fear of getting old in powerlessness and exclusion from the community, I was more touched than by any kind of feminist magazine. Certainly, women have a less tendency to exert fatal violence, among other things because of 30 percent less muscle mass. But oppression might be performed in many ways. After having been working in predominantly  female workplaces, I know that the world does´nt get better with same-sexed ruling. We simply need to work together for world improvement and gender equality. There are no shortcuts. "

 

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Skärmavbild 2017-08-30 kl. 00.42.10

Our God is a woman
MARIANNE LINDBERG DE GEER

Article in FOCUS, november 11, 2016

The fear of women's power remains.

 

Thirty years ago, I saw a film by Leyla Assaf -Tengroth. It is called Our God is a Woman, a documentary about a matriarchy in West Africa in the mid-1970s.

This  film has left such an indelible impression on me that I have shown it several times in connection with the seminars at my exhibitions. If I as an addition, invite the director for to make a speech, nobody leaves  without being deeply touched.

Over the years I've mixed up the content of the movie with the things the film director Leyla Assaf-Tengroth has told me about the project, but what really touched me me was this: At the beginning of the movie, as we walk through the jungle and get closer to the village, we meet two beautiful young men. They are decorated with feathers, ropes and pearls in all the colors. Their bodies are shiny muscular, the faces are friendly. In the conversation that follows between the interpreters and the men, they express their concern. They are afraid not to get married and as a result, lose contact with their children and relatives, and being forced to move away from their homes, spend the rest of their lives in the outskirts of the village, outcasted from the community. Their god is a woman. It is she who has the divine power to give the community children and thus a future. She is worshiped, obeyed and defended.

The women in the village are in a meeting as we get closer to the square of village. They ignore us. They sit in a ring, there is some kind of meeting, they are dressed in skirts, the breasts are naked. There is no cocuetry by them, no jewelry, no imaginative coiffures like by the men. The women's hairstyles are short and natural. Several among them are smoking the pipe and perform a for us typical male attitude. Due to the natural selection, the men are very beautiful, while the women's looks are not, with our measurements met.

While the women are sitting in their meeting, the young men in the village take care of the children and the households, carry water, wash, hunt and climb high up in the palms to pick coconuts.

Skärmavbild 2017-08-30 kl. 11.38.09

A concerning old matriarch worried that the harvest of rice this year would´t last to all in her great clan - or an old whitch and slave driver?

In this village, the oldest woman inherits the house, which also houses her family. The younger women can get what they want, usually chosen during one of the ritual festivals with performances, where the young men during the dance show off their Danes wearing their most beautiful equipment. The women whisper to each other and point out their favorites. The man every woman chosen belongs to her for as long as she wants. They often have children together. But if the woman decides to marry a new man, the grandfather is allowed to move out to the dancing men again, hoping to be chosen by another woman.

The old men meet in the outskirts of the village. They live on what they can get together. Sometimes some of their children stick to them a bit of food. One of the men we meet in the film is sick. In addition to being very depressed, he has some kind of elephantiasis; The body has grown in some places like feet and legs, so the man has difficulty moving, which has had devastating consequences for his housekeeping, he can not chase anymore. The disease also meant that he ended up at an early age. No woman wanted him. Now he is working on making the holy vessels that religion requires for the rituals. One can call him the village's artist. He also makes water pots and other household items. For that he gets almost nothing, yet he feels he has a task.

 

Skärmavbild 2017-08-30 kl. 18.11.39

Huts in the outskirts of the village for the men to withdraw in for having  fun and drink palmwine together - or huts to which they are banisahed to stay when no women wants them or they get old and sick? For further information; See following pages about Bijagos´matriarchy!

Skärmavbild 2017-08-30 kl. 18.10.24

The children are fostered in a gender-neutral way until they reach puberty. Then the young women enter into their new lives, worshipped as  holy, and the men to their lives as labor slaves.

Then, in the 1980s, when I saw them the first time, I was struck by such sympathy with these powerless and lawless men and could not stop thinking about them. When I then got the honor to meet the director and producer Leyla Assaf-Tengroth, she told me that she and her film team, 1976, realized that it was only a matter of time before these men one day would to take a canoe to get to a bar next to the nearest cape and there on television not only discover that there are other gods, men who are gods, but also that men in the rest of the world with their 30 percent greater muscle mass might fight themselves out of the situations where they feel powerless.

This movie is from 1976 and the village is no longer in its former shape and ruling organisation. The men there have met modernity, and although their women still are met with more respect than the other women in the region, the patriarchal order is introduced. But the fear of women's power is still alive. Thesis and antithesis. How long must we, men and women, have to wait for the synthesis?

Besides, I never thought that I, born shortly after World War II, would experience such a destructive time as ours. # xenophobia, # fear, #egocentrism, #Europe crash, #SD, #Trump, #National Front, # refugee disasters, #antisemitism, # terrorism, #rich against poor, # the nature´s revenge.

Skärmavbild 2017-07-27 kl. 23.17.10

Poor men working as slaves for their women or just common men fishing like men in these kind of naturalist societies usually do?

Svensk text:

ALLVARLIGT TALAT / MARIANNE LINDBERG DE GEER VET BESKED OM MATRIARKAT.

SR P1 26 juli 2017

Finns matriarkat, undrar en äldre man i “Allvarligt talat” på SR P1 som presenterar sig sig som en “vanlig man” ooh far till tre söner ooh tre döttrar och kirurg till professionen.

Nu är det inte längre fråga om att döma ut matriarkatet som en “ovetenskaplig myt” som tredjevågarna rabblar utantill på sina doktorandkurser i teologi och arkeologi, genom att citera några enkla rader av den tyska klassisisten Beate Wagner Hasel, utan Marianne Lindberg de Geer hyser inga tvivel. Hon har ju nämligen också sett den där enda dokumentären om matriarkat som nånsin tillverkats i detta land: “Vår gud är en kvinna” av Leyla Tengroth 1984, med dess uppföljare några decennier senare. Jag minns den också väl eftersom den gjorde ett oförglömligt intryck av att skildra ett samhälle som tycktes vara styrt av totalt motsatt spegelvända värderingar till våra egna patriarkala.

“Är kvinnor mer rättrådiga än män? Är kvinnor mindre våldsamma än män, skulle nationer uppbyggda på matriarkat göra världen mer fredlig” undrar den gamle mannen och Marianne Lindberg de Geer är inte sen att gripa sig an ett gammalt kärt ämne. Alla som har läst hennes artiklar och / eller hört henne oja sig över det hemska matriarkatet vet nu precis vad som komma skall och hur indignationen kommer att puttra o pysa över hur fasansfullt kvinnor beter sig så snart de innehar makt.

MLG svarar: "Hej Anders. På åttiotalet såg jag en film som jag aldrig har glömt. Filmen heter “Vår Gud är en kvinna” och jag ska försöka återberätta den. I filmens början - vi befinner oss i Västafrika- möter vi två unga vackra män i byns utkanter. Dom är båda översållade med pärlhalsband fjädrar och andra statushöjande utsmyckningar. Inför kameran uttrycker dom stor oro inför att bli gamla och därmed ratade. För ingen kvinna har ännu valt ut dem att bli deras äkta män och nu är dom skräckslagna över att kastas ut ur bygemenskapen och förpassas från centrum där dom för tillfället befinner sig i form av älskare åt sina matmödrar, till periferin där de får bo ensamma i usla kojor och försörja sig på det lilla dom själva kan jaga eller plocka. Dessa män ifrågasätter dock inte tingens ordning. Eftersom kvinnan kan föda barn så är hon Gud. Utan hennes skulle stammen gå under. Kvinnan är helig. Den äldsta kvinnan äger huset. När hon dör ärver den äldsta dottern det. I detta matriarkat kan flickan när som helst ta sig en älskare och även skaffa sig barn med honom. Men om hon föredrar någon annan som hon gifter sig med åker älskaren ut och den nye mannen blir far till alla barnen.

Skärmavbild 2017-07-27 kl. 12.17.34

Kvinnorna har enkla bastkjolar. Har inga särskilda utsmyckningar. Håret hålls kort. Dom koketterar inte. Oftast sitter dom i ring framför lägerelden mitt i byn, röker pipa och tar hand om alla beslut som hör till byns liv och organisation. Vissa kvällar i månaden vid kvällningen dansar männen för kvinnorna utstyrda i festkläder. Dom hoppas att ngn kvinna, gammal eller ung, ska fatta tycke för dem och införliva dem i sitt hushålll. Några gånger om året försvinner kvinnorna och tar med sig sina könsmogna flickor. Männen vet inte vart dom tar vägen. Som filmaren Lejla Tengroth uppfattade det så vandrade kvinnorna till närbelägna byar för att skaffa män till den yngre generationen kvinnor- matriarker - för att undvika inavel. Barn som föds defekta skjutsas som på Moses tid ut i vassbåtar där havet slukar dem.Byns tekniska utveckling står kvar på stenåldersnivå och det finns inga önskningar om utveckling. Det som fungerar är bra.

Leyla Assaf Tengroth återbesöket byn decennier senare och fann en spillra - en rest av den matriarkala byn ja större respekt för kvinnor än i övriga närområdet - men jaa, inte alls så mycket mer.

Som läkare vet du att som underlag för relevansen i forskning behövs långt mer än ETT exempel. Men för mig som ung kvinna då att möta den här omvända världen, där jag snyftade i näsduken över dessa mäns rädsla inför en ålderdom maktlöshet och uteslutning ur gemenskapen, grep mg mer än någon feministisk tidskrift. Visst har kvinnor mindre tendens till dödligt våld, bl. a pga av 30 procents mindre muskelmassa. Men förtryck kan komma i många skepnader.Efter att ha arbetat i mestadels kvinnliga arbetsområden vet jag att världen inte blir bättre med enkönad makt. Vi måste helt enkelt arbeta tillsammans för världsförbättring och jämställdhet. Det finns inga genvägar.”

Skärmavbild 2017-07-27 kl. 11.03.22
Skärmavbild 2017-07-27 kl. 11.09.59
Skärmavbild 2017-07-27 kl. 11.48.34
Skärmavbild 2017-07-27 kl. 12.45.50

 

Vår Gud är en kvinna
NOVEMBER 11, 2016 TEXT: MARIANNE LINDBERG DE GEER
Rädslan för kvinnors makt lever kvar.

 

För trettio år sedan såg jag en kortfilm av filmaren Leyla Assaf -Tengroth. Den heter »Vår Gud är en kvinna«, en dokumentär som handlar om ett matriarkat i Västafrika i mitten av 1970-talet.
Denna lilla film har lämnat ett så outplånligt intryck på mig, att jag flera gånger visat den i samband med seminarier på mina utställningar. Bjuder jag dessutom in regissören för ett samtal, går ingen därifrån oberörd.

Med åren har jag blandat ihop filmens innehåll med det regissören Leyla Assaf-Tengroth har berättat om projektet, men det som grep mig så var det här: I filmens början, när vi är på väg genom djungeln och närmar oss byn, möter vi två vackra unga män. De är pyntade med fjädrar, band och pärlor i alla de färger. Deras kroppar är blankt muskulösa, ansiktena vänliga. I samtalet som följer mellan tolken och männen, uttrycker de sin oro. De är rädda att inte bli gifta och som en följd av det, tappa kontakten med sina barn och anhöriga och tvingas flytta ifrån sina hem, och tillbringa resten av sina liv i byns utkanter, utstötta ur bygemenskapen. Deras gud är en kvinna. Det är hon som har den gudomliga kraften att ge samhället barn och därmed fortsatt liv. Hon dyrkas, lyds och försvaras.

Kvinnorna i byn sitter i möte när vi närmar oss bytorget. De ignorerar oss. De sitter i ring, det pågår något slags möte, de är klädda i kjol, brösten hänger nakna. Det finns inget kokett med dem, inga smycken, inga fantasifulla håruppsättningar som hos männen. Kvinnornas frisyrer är korta och naturliga. Flera av dem har pipa i munnen och en för oss typiskt manlig hållning. Genom det naturliga urvalet är männen mycket vackra, medan kvinnornas utseenden inte är det, med våra mått mätt.

Medan kvinnorna sitter i möten tar de unga männen i byn hand om barn och hushåll, bär vatten, tvättar, går på jakt och klättrar högt upp i palmerna för att plocka kokos.

 

I den här byn ärver äldsta kvinnan huset, som också hyser hennes familj. De yngre kvinnorna kan ta sig vilken man de vill, oftast väljs han ut under en av de rituella festerna med uppträdanden, där de unga männen under dansen visar upp sina danskonster iklädda sin mest praktfulla utstyrsel. Kvinnorna viskar till varandra och pekar ut sina favoriter. Mannen varje kvinna valt tillhör henne sedan så länge hon vill. De får ofta barn tillsammans. Men om kvinnan bestämmer sig för att gifta sig med en ny man, får barnafadern flytta ut och sälla sig till de dansande männen igen, med hopp om att väljas av en annan kvinna.

De gamla männen möter vi i byns utkanter. De lever på vad de själva kan få ihop. Ibland sticker något av deras barn till dem en bit mat. En av männen vi möter i filmen är sjuk. Förutom att han verkar mycket deprimerad, så har han något slags elefantiasis; kroppen har växt ut på vissa ställen som fötter och ben, så att mannen har svårt att röra sig, vilket har fått förödande konsekvenser för hans hushållning, han kan inte jaga längre. Sjukdomen gjorde också att han tidigt hamnade på undantag. Ingen kvinna ville ha honom. Nu arbetar han med att göra de heliga kärl som religionen kräver för ritualerna. Man kan kalla honom byns konstnär. Han gör också vattenkrukor och annat husgeråd. För det får han nästan ingenting, men känner ändå att han har en uppgift.

Barnen fostras till hen tills de når puberteten. Då invigs de unga kvinnorna i sina nya liv, som heliga och dyrkansvärda och männen till sina liv som arbetsslavar.

Då, på 1980-talet, när jag såg dem första gången, greps jag av ett sådant medlidande med dessa makt- och rättslösa män och kunde inte sluta tänka på dem. När jag sedan fick äran att träffa regissören och -producenten Leyla Assaf-Tengroth, berättade hon att hon och filmteamet då, 1976, känt på sig att det bara var en tidsfråga innan männen en dag skulle ta kanoten, ta sig till en bar bortom närmaste udden och där på tv, inte bara upptäcka att det finns andra gudar, gudar som är män, utan också att män i övriga världen med sin 30 procents större muskelmassa, kan slå sig ur de situationer där de känner sig maktlösa.

Den här filmen är från 1976 och byn finns inte längre kvar i sin dåvarande form och styre. Männen där har mött moderniteten, även om kvinnorna fortfarande möts med mer respekt än andra kvinnor i regionen, så är den patriarkala ordningen införd. Men rädslan för kvinnors makt lever kvar. Tes och antites. Hur länge ska vi, män och kvinnor, behöva vänta på syntesen?

För övrigt trodde jag aldrig att jag, född strax efter andra världskriget, skulle få uppleva en så destruktiv tid som vår. #främlingshatet, #rädslan, #egocentreringen, #Europasammanbrottet, #SD, #Trump, #National Front, #flykting-katastroferna, #antisemitismen, #terror-ismen, #rikamotfattiga, #naturenshämnd.

Skärmavbild 2017-07-27 kl. 23.16.41

Men who are showing off in front of the woman for to get married at last - or just perform their rites according to the age old customs of African style?

Skärmavbild 2017-07-27 kl. 13.12.16

M Y   C O M M E N T S: 

 

I'm getting more and more curious about what kind of people and "matriarchy" Leyla Assaf Tengroth met out their in the island of Orango Grande, because, after having tried my best to find information online, I haven´t yet found anything but ordinary matriarchies throughout the whole area of the Bijagos archipelago, still living according to the same well-inscribed old customs as always, and according to the deep matriarchal structure recorded in Heide Göttner Abendroth's scientifically derived definition and description of the phenomen.

I can find no signs of such an oppression of the men being pushed out to live alone in the outskirts of the village community, only men who are celebrating their spare time drinking palm wine together in these outskirts, as well as performing an unusually longlasting  initiation rite in the forest, when they are not allowed to speak to or have any intercourse with women.

Their economical system is built on the "communist" giftgiving principle in which noone is left to be without his or her fundamental needs.

And according to what the elderly  inhabitants who were young in the 70´s when Assaf Tengroth made her film about them on their Orango island, state in an interview  (scroll down!) they have been pleased with the way their wives have been taking care of them, and doesn´t seem to welcome modernity at all, but quite the contrary to complain about the Christian mission, telling them its wrong with female courting the men, resulting in more divorses than what has been common before.

Irrespective of this,  those who have read Robert Briffault's extensive mapping in his The Mothers 1931 of all the matrilineal peoples in the world at the beginning of the last century and their customs regarding courting and marriage / lovemaking know that relations outside of the "marriage" have been legitimate, and from both sides. Not only the women have acquired lover aside, but it has taken place on a mutual basis. The biological fathers have often been married many times before they disappear from this life, and the children always stay in the mother's family = matrilinearity.

Anyway, I look forward to make my own little private investigation about these things to see what will come out of it- as facts - or mere fairytales invented by Tengroth/Lindberg de Geer themselves.

You might so far follow my investigations at this pages:

Facts about Bijagos´ Matriarchy

More will come later!

The impression of abhorrent misery on behalf of the men and cildren in the suggested matriarchal past of the people at the Orango island, and its suggested transmission to patriarchy in the 80´s when Leyla Assaf Tengroth returned to the islands to make her second film  The Women´s Island about these people, doesn´t seem to have  much to do with reality. That is anyway what I have discovered from my investigations online, taking part of other visitors and / or professional anthropologists recordings as for example this one:

 

Article from the Website called

USA TODAY

 

Women, not men, choose spouses on African archipelago

Updated 2/3/2007

By Rukmini Callimachi, Associated Press

ORANGO ISLAND, Guinea-Bissau — He was 14 when the girl entered his grass-covered hut and placed a plate of steaming fish in front of him. Like all men on this African isle, Carvadju Jose Nananghe knew exactly what it meant. Refusing was not an option. His heart pounding, he lifted the aromatic dish, prepared with an ancient recipe, to his lips, agreeing in one bite to marry the girl.

"I had no feelings for her," said Nananghe, now 65. "Then when I ate this meal, it was like lightning. I wanted only her.”

In this archipelago of 50 islands off the western rim of Africa, it's women, not men, who choose. They 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.

To have refused, explained Nananghe, remembering the day half a century ago, would have dishonored his family — and in any case, why would he want to choose his own wife?

"Love comes first into the heart of the woman," he explained. "Once it's in the woman, only then can it jump into the man."

But the treacherous tides and narrow channels that have long kept outsiders out of these remote islands are no longer holding back the modern world. The young men of Orango, 40 miles off the West African country of Guinea-Bissau, are finding jobs carrying luggage for tourist hotels on the archipelago's more developed islands. Others collect oil from the island's abundant palm trees and sell it on the mainland. They return with a new form of courtship, one which their elders find deeply unsettling.

"Now the world is upside down," complained 90-year-old Cesar Okrane, his eyes obscured by a cloud of cataracts. "Men are running after women, instead of waiting for them to come to them."
For a man to go so far as to openly propose marriage is dangerous, say traditionalists on this island of 2,000 people.

"The choice of a woman is much more stable," explains Okrane. "Rarely were there divorces before. Now, with men choosing, divorce has become common."

Records are not readily available, but islanders agree that there are significantly more divorces now than in the years when men waited patiently for a proposal on a plate.

They waited some more, as their brides-to-be then set out for the eggshell-white beaches encircling the island, looking for the raw materials with which to build their new house.

Women built all the grass-covered huts here, dragging driftwood back from the ocean to use as poles, cutting blond grass to weave into roofs and shaping the pink mud into bricks. Only once the house was built, a process that takes at least four months, could the couple move in and their marriage be considered official.

There are matrilineal cultures in numerous pockets of the world, including in other parts of Africa, as well as in China's Yunnan province and in northeastern Thailand, says anthropologist Christine Henry, a researcher at France's National Center for Scientific Research.

But 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," says Henry, who has written a book on the customs of the archipelago.

That things are changing is evident in the material chosen for the island's newest house: concrete. It was erected by paid laborers, not local women.

Although priestesses still control the island's relationship with the spirit world, their clout is waning, as Christian missionaries have established churches here.

"When I get married it will be in a church, wearing a white dress and a veil," says 19-year-old Marisa de Pina, striking a modern pose outside her family's hut wearing tight Capri pants and sequined sandals.

She says the Protestant church she attends 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. To make her point, the teenager pops into her hut and returns holding a worn copy of the New Testament, its pages stuffed with post-it notes, letters and business cards.
Her decision has caused strife inside the mud walls of her family's house.

Like her niece, Edelia Noro wears store-bought clothes instead of the grass skirts still favored by some older women. She, too, attends church. But she says she doesn't see why these trappings of modern life should alter the system of courtship.

Although the island's unique customs may be fading, there are still pockets of resistance. Often, it's women who lure men back into the fold of ancient ways.

Now 23, Laurindo Carvalho first spotted the girl when he was 13. He worked in a tourist hotel, wore jeans, owned a cellphone and thought of himself as a modern man, so he thought he could turn tradition on its head and ask the girl to marry him. With the wave of a hand, she rejected him.

Six years passed and one day, when both were 19, he heard a knock at his door. Outside, his love stood holding out a plate of freshly caught fish, a coy smile on her face.

Carvalho still wears sandblasted jeans and flip-flops bearing the Adidas logo, but he now sees himself as embedded in the village's matriarchal fiber.

"I learned the hard way that here, a man never approaches a woman," he says.

Skärmavbild 2017-08-31 kl. 22.33.33

"Objective facts" á la  Marianne Lindberg De Geer / Tengroth:

 

"The women in the village are in a meeting as we get closer to the square of village. They ignore us. They sit in a ring, there is some kind of meeting, they are dressed in skirts, the breasts are naked. There is no cocuetry by them, no jewelry, no imaginative coiffures like by the men. The women's hairstyles are short and natural. Several among them are smoking the pipe and perform a for us typical male attitude. Due to the natural selection, the men are very beautiful, while the women's looks are not, with our measurements met."

Svensk text:

Marianne Lindberg De Geer / Tengroths "forskning": "Kvinnorna i byn sitter i möte när vi närmar oss bytorget. De ignorerar oss. De sitter i ring, det pågår något slags möte, de är klädda i kjol, brösten hänger nakna. Det finns inget kokett med dem, inga smycken, inga fantasifulla håruppsättningar som hos männen. Kvinnornas frisyrer är korta och naturliga. Flera av dem har pipa i munnen och en för oss typiskt manlig hållning. Genom det naturliga urvalet är männen mycket vackra, medan kvinnornas utseenden inte är det, med våra mått mätt.”

(Ja ni ser ju själva den stora skillnaden!)

Wow! I just wonder how many of you who may percieve that difference? Because I can not.

ados
Skärmavbild 2017-08-31 kl. 22.30.37