Southeast Matriarchies

From Anarchy In Action

"The great Native American civilizations of the Southeast of the present-day United States—importantly including the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Muscogee, and Seminole—were matriarchal societies. In them, women, as equals of the men, had power and influence. All of this changed with the coming of the Europeans, who assumed that Native people lived as Europeans did, in patriarchal systems, in which elite men defined the ‘‘appropriate way’’ for women to behave. They failed to understand the equality of the sexes in Native American so- cieties, where women enjoyed high economic, social, and political status."[1]

  1. Kay Givens McGowan, "Weeping for the Lost Matriarchy" in Daughters of Mother Earth: the wisdom of Native American women edited by Barbara Alice Mann (Westport: Praeger Publishers, 2006), 53-55.