matriarchate :

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  • n  a form of social organization in which a female is the family head and title is traced through the female line

  • Small, poor but proud, it was a nominal matriarchate actually ruled by a small male aristocracy, supposedly Christian but actually savage, subsisting on the slave trade.
  • La Gonave (though Wirkus did not know it) was a socialistic matriarchate, ruled by Head Queen Ti Memenne, fat, squaw-like but executive.

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