Both Patriarchy and Matriarchy are of ancient African origins. Nomads and people who migrated from place to place or who were warriors were mainly patriarchal...BUT SOME TRACED THEIR ANCESTRY ON THE FEMALE LINE, MEANING THEY WERE PATRIARCHAL BUT MATRILINEAL.
Settled villages, towns, cities tended to be also Patriarchal and matrilineal. Hence while Egyptian Pharaohs and men in much of ancient Egypt and modern Africa for that matter were leaders in their households and families, THE TRADITION OF TRACING LINEAGE ON THE FEMALE SIDE, MAKING HIERS OF THE SISTERS' SONS (RATHER THAN A MAN'S OWN SONS) AND MAINTAINING THE 'DIVISION OF LABOR' WAS PART OF THE SYSTEM.
However, in today's African society systems are both matrilineal and patrilineal and most are PATRIARCHAL. There are strong matriarchal places like Dahomey (Benin) where King Jaja trained and organized an army of about 10,000 women fighers and bodyguards to guard over him because the male competitors for the throne usually eliminated their opponents.
This is where the idea of the Amazons was reborn in the 1700's to 1800's after the Europeans saw this system of wome warriorhood in Dahomey, perhaps one of the only societies where there was actual WAR BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN (see the book, "Susu Economics," and go to 'Dahomey' chapter).
Most Black/Negro societies around the world seem to have originated from a core ancient civilization that began in Sudan. In fact a culture in ancient India was also related to Africa (Indus Valley Culture). There the people were similar to Africans in appearance and the system was matrilineal with patriarchal rule.
This is a very 'head-scratchy' system and as one historian pointed out, it is cherished by the males because it helps maintain continuity.
1. Any foreign invader can rape, violate or defile the conquered women and claim the children as his, for his race or tribe (AS IS BEING DONE IN SUDAN, WHERE NEGROES WHO ARE PURE BLACK ARE CALLED "ARABS." In a matrilineal society, that will never happen because the line of the foreign father would never be recognized.
2. "Mother's baby, father's maybe"...as some of us may well know, the matter of trust in a realtionship whether married or not is one that has been on the minds of many for thousands of years. In many African societies, men go away from their region to work and leave their wives at home. How is he 100 percent sure a baby born is his blood. However, he can be 100 percent sure that his sister's son is his nephew.
That may be one of the reasons for the keeping of the matrilineal system in parts of Africa today.
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