Matriarchal Society

Only available on StudyMode
  • Topic: Kerala, Nair, India
  • Pages : 39 (1351 words )
  • Download(s) : 72
  • Published : March 18, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview
Introduction
  The
  system
  of
  matriarchy
  in
  Kerala
  has
  been
  in
  place
  for
  over
  200
  years.
  The
  concept
  of
  matriarchy
  deals
  with
  a
  social
  set
  up
  in
  which
  descent
  and
  inheritance
  has
  been
  traced
  through
 the
 female
 line.
 It
 also
 refers
 to
 a
 social
 organization
 in
 which
 women
 have
 the
 ruling
  powers.
 The
 history
 of
 this
 Indian
 state
 has
 seen
 a
 long-­‐standing
 tradition
 of
 the
 celebration
 of
  women
 unlike
 many
 other
 states
 in
 India.
 The
 system
 still
 prevails
 in
 certain
 parts
 of
 Kerala,
  especially
 the
 Malabar
 region,
 which
 is
 the
 area
 between
 the
 Western
 Ghats
 and
 the
 Arabian
  Sea.
  The
  upper
  caste
  community
  known
  as
  the
  Nairs
  (in
  general)
  has
  been
  associated
  with
  matriarchy
 since
 985
 BC
 when
 the
 Chera
 dynasty
 was
 in
 power
 in
 the
 southern
 part
 of
 India
  (Government
  of
  Kerala).
  The
  system
  has
  contributed
  greatly
  towards
  the
  present
  day
  social
  status
  of
  women
  in
  Kerala.
  This
  essay
  will
  analyze
  the
  matriarchal
  society
  of
  the
  northern
  region
  of
  the
  state
  of
  Kerala
  by
  studying
  the
  impact
  of
  matriarchy
  on
  the
  social
  status
  of
  women.
  In
  order
  to
  understand
  this,
  first
  the
  basic
  system
  and
  its
  methods
  of
  functioning
  has
  been
  examined
  below.
  Second,
  the
  impact
  of
  the
  system
  on
  health
  and
  education
  of
  women
  has
 been
 studied.
  Matriarchy
 and
 the
 Rules
  The
 socio-­‐cultural
 practice
 of
 matriarchy
 is
 associated
 with
 the
 Nair
 community
 because
 this
  community
  comprised
  mainly
  of
  the
  warrior
  and
  feudal
  classes
  who
  ruled
  the
  state.
  The
  male
  members
 of
 these
 families
 were
 often
 involved
 in
 battles
 and
 feuds
 resulting
 in
 their
 deaths.
  Therefore,
 this
 resulted
 in
 a
 system
 that
 would
 provide
 more
 stability
 to
 families
 in
 terms
 of
  generating
  income
  and
  looking
  after
  the
  household
  practices.
  Women
  were
  given
  the
  authority
  to
  manage
  the
  family
  and
  the
  property
  owned
  by
  the
  family
  in
  order
  to
  create
  a
  well-­‐balanced
 environment
 for
 the
 family
 members
 to
 co-­‐exist
 in.
 This
 system
 also
 played
 the
  lead
  role
  in
  developing
  a
  subsidiary
  form
  of
  a
  socio-­‐cultural
  practice
  called
  Marumakkathayam
  or
  the
  Matrilineal
  system.
  It
  was
  a
  system
  in
  which
  the
  inheritance
  of
  property
 took
 place
 with
 respect
 to
 the
 female
 line,
 i.
tracking img