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The World Largest Matrilineal Society

Akhyari Hananto
Akhyari Hananto
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The World Largest Matrilineal Society
The world largest matrilineal society has maintained its tradition in Indonesia. The Minangkabau, who live mainly in West Sumatra, have preserved their unique culture and life style into the modern age. A traditional pre-wedding ceremony in a Minangkabau family: This is the world's biggest matrilinear society in which property and land pass down from mother to daughter. Here, it is the family of the bride-to-be who visit the man's home to ask his parents' permission for the marriage. Only the male members from the bride's mother's family can represent her side. They bring food and gifts. Family members from both sides negotiate the time and place of the wedding. And all of this is done in poetry. "Our people, the Minangkabau, have a tradition of talking in ryhmes on eventful days. Today for example the family of the bride has come to seek the permission of the bridegroom's family for their children to wed," said Rani, uncle of the bride. The bride’s uncle speaks in a metaphoric ryhme. He says, "we have a flower here, do you have an insect to match it?" The uncle of the bridegroom answers in a ryhme and finally gives his consent to the marriage. After several requests and answers, the two families fix a wedding date. Then they sit down and eat sweet cakes together, wishing happiness to the future husband and wife. The Minangkabau memorize thousands of verses from the Quran. They are also experts at creating their own poetry. This unique tradition has been passed down from generation to generation.  
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