Organized and guided by Anna Boyé, photographer and anthropologist.
This is a very special trip to a matriarchal society. It is a unique trip for its anthropological characteristics of exploration to the world of matriarchates, and for the degree of personal involvement with local people.
We will travel to the island of Sumatra, washed by the Indian Ocean and belonging to Indonesia. The island has an approximate population of fifty million people, mostly Muslim. To the west of the island lives the minangkabau community, a matriarchal society of more than four million people, which despite being governed by the norms of Islam, there women have a predominant role in daily life.
We will visit the western part of Sumatra, cities like Padang and Bukittinggi, or villages like Patangahan or Palupah. We will live in a minangkabau house and visit families in the area. We will take a walk through the rice fields, buy in the markets and discover the great beauty and exoticism of the place through Lake Maninjau, the Merapi volcano, the Nyarai Sianok gorge, the paradise island of Pulau Swarnadwipa ...
We will be the guests of Eli's family, our guide minangkabau, who will delight us with the elaboration of traditional Randang (Buffalo meat) food. We will attend a traditional wedding. Among the minangkabau, the groom and the bride, during the treat, sit on a shared throne, "one throne for both." It means that "they are one in body and soul, and that they speak and decide everything together." We will visit in Pagaruyang the palace of the mythical queen Bundo Kanduang, mother of the minangkabau people.
During our stay in Sumatra, there will be times for discussion and analysis of these matriarchal customs, so different from our own habits.
It is not a journalistic journey.
Extension of the trip 3 days + to the Bukit Lawang Orangutan Reserve, in Medan (OPTIONAL)
There is a place in the world where women inherit the earth. A place where the house and family assets pass from mothers to daughters and where the lineage is transmitted by women. A place where consensus is the basis of the collective and nature a guiding teacher. In the west of Sumatra live the minangkabau, a matriarchal community of more than 4 million people, whose ancestral traditions place the mother at the center of society.
The minangkabau community is a society full of spirituality and love. His ethics says that women and men complement each other "like nail and flesh." They cooperate by distributing power and different social functions.
Matriarchy is not the opposite of patriarchy, but a very different way of articulating reality.
It all started on the slopes of the Merapi volcano. The Minangkabau culture was forged in ancient animist kingdoms that related the essence of life with the fertility of the fields and the fertility of women. This is how Adat was born, the set of ancestral beliefs that structure the values ??of this community.
Islam reaches Sumatra in the thirteenth century, from the Arabian peninsula, through Muslim merchants and settled on the Island until it became the dominant religion at the end of the sixteenth century. For a long time Adat and Islam lived together peacefully.
Minangkabau women inherit the land, the house, the ancestral valuable objects of the family and the jewels. This matrilineal form of high inheritance, which is transmitted only from mothers to daughters, is the most unique feature of this society. Most women work. The economy is based on women's work. We can find them in their chores as businesswomen, midwives, pedagogues, nurses, teachers, in a shop, in the market, as nurses, holding public or political positions ... Also in the work of exploitation of the lands of the pusaka or high inheritance.
Among the minangkabau the values ??of the common good are highly appreciated. The mother transcends the social order and fills it with kindness and peace. It is not only the body that bears fruit but the soul becomes deep and sows content in the hearts of the children. Boys and girls are educated equally. You learn from lived experiences. In the family, an agreement is always reached in decision making. Possessions or money do not mean power. Power is to reach consensus on all issues of life.