Essay Example on Matrilineal Societies: Asante Women Left Without Support

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  3
Wordcount:  600 Words
Date:  2023-02-27

Matrilineal system is a system where the ancestral descent is traced through maternal instead of paternal lines. It includes; woman, her siblings (male and female), her children (male and female), her sister's children, and her daughter's children. Those marrying into the family retain membership in their matrilineage. About 15% of cultures of the Asante society means that inheritance moves from man to his sisters' children. One result is that Asante's women are left with no means of support if their husbands die. Gender roles of men were labourers and secretaries while the role of women included; engaging in barter trade and bright colors of the products they trade and control the market through Queen Mothers.

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How does the matrilineal system shape women's participation in the market (public sphere) and home (private sphere)?

Matrilineal system can mean great hardship for women as they have to work to support themselves. In every village, there is a Queen Mother that nominates the chief. Women had powers which were constitutionally irrelevant to their domestic role. A woman could only earn her status through childbearing and age. In the home, women do not settle disputes when two wives fight, the men judge the dispute and punish the guilty one by forcing them to pay a fine to the other. Also, no woman could be excommunicated out of their maternal home as the home was considered for life where they often returned to visit. Queen Mothers wanted her kids to be educated, so she learned to sell yams managed to send all kids to school, her husband married another and had to give her compensation.

Discuss the gendered division of labour in Asante culture.

Males and females directed towards different tasks through the cultural construction of Gender. Both sexes worked in gardens, but men cut old-growth hardwood trees while women cut understory trees and shrubs; men pounded the sago pith while women supervised the drying of cakes of sago starch. There exist several examples of males and females working together on an economic activity yet performing different tasks in the activity-this is sexual/gendered division of labour, but there is no hierarchical value placed on the labour tasks. As well, gender ideology is women and men valued for the same qualities and not stratified. Women who are menstruating may face cultural rules that they cannot cook or do certain activities because it is considered polluting or unclean.

How is the Asante culture likely changing in the future and why?

Asante culture has to change shortly in a world where a lot is changing and new concepts cropping into societies. Therefore, communities such as Asante have to embrace changes for development purposes.

Using comparison, a central feature of anthropology, what are differences and similarities between Asante culture and our culture?


Meaning Culture refers to the set of beliefs, practices, learned behavior and moral values that are passed on, from one generation to another. Society means an interdependent group of people who live together in a particular region and are associated with one another.

  • What is it? It is something that differentiates one society from the other. It is a community of people, residing in a specific area, sharing common culture over time.
  • What it does? It unites the social framework through influence. It shapes the social framework through pressure.
  • Represents Rules that guide the way people live. Structure that provides the way people organize themselves.
  • Includes Beliefs, values and practices of a group. People who share common beliefs and practices.
  • Examples Fashion, lifestyle, tastes & preferences, music, art, etc. Economy, village, city etc.

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Essay Example on Matrilineal Societies: Asante Women Left Without Support. (2023, Feb 27). Retrieved from

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