The African Matriarcal Tradition; We grow up in the countries of the continent and almost everywhere where women are beaten regularly. Their words are devalued, their opinions are ignored. They are constantly condemned, tirelessly defined – whatever their success in society – whether they marry or not.

They do not accept the inheritance and probably live in material insecurity. They are generally not in the circle of political and economic decisions.

Faced with these numerous and repeated abuses, and given the strong masculinity of men, we ultimately think that, essentially in Africa, most women will be a group of second-class citizens. After all, we are a patriarchal and sexist society.

And when someone declines history, as we do, we discover with astonishment that not only authentic Africa has defined equality between men and women, but in fact in fact – in agreement with men – the most precious genre.

Let’s go back to the sources of matriarchy and note that this cultural element, only the most imaginary, stemming from the ideas of our ancestors, divided the entire dark continent at once. We will also briefly see how we have progressed in the current situation.

Yahmesu Nafooré Tiiri (Ahmes Nefertari), Ruler of Egypt and co-founder of the 18th dynasty and the Middle Kingdom 3,500 years ago. Sat Nsut (Royal Daughter), Senet Nsut (Royal Sister), Hemet Nsut Uret (Great Royal Wife), Mut Nsut (Royal Mother). This Queen, the most venerated in antiquity, remains the most excellent figure of matriarchy in Africa.

Back to the origins: Ankh (life)

Our ancestors had theorized that at the beginning of everything was the Nun, the disordered primordial water full of germs, from which the creation would spring. One of these germs (Imana) became aware of His-Her existence and engendered creation, putting in order the potentials of life contained in the Nun, and overcoming with His-Her energy the initial disorder.

Imana (God) continued the creative work by making the born evolve to perfect creation. All these principles and events that led to the creation of life by Imana, were called by the Egyptian Ma’at.

The Sun also bears these principles of Ma’at. The Sun liquefies waters, orders and develops plant life, and is the maximum energy perceptible by Humans. The Sun (Râ) is therefore the Messenger of God. Our ancestors thus called the Creator Imana-Râ (Amen-Râ).

Since God created beings, then God is male and female, because only a couple can give birth and create life.

Female and male parts of God, ancient Egypt; Everywhere in Africa God has a female and male part

The whole universe consists of opposite and complementary principles: heaven-earth, water-air, woman-man, etc. proto The Creator was, therefore, unique before being divided into male and female principles. The woman and the man, therefore, inherited part of the Creator.

A woman is more orderly, more faithful, more stable, and life develops in her womb. When a baby is born, it still nourishes it to continue its development. Man is physically stronger and energetically better.

It follows that man and woman received the same parts of the intelligence of a Creator, but, above all, God gave woman his moral values and the ability to create and develop life and to give man above all to her. energy that serves to defend this life. Therefore, our ancestors agreed that a woman is more a carrier of Ma’at than a man, and therefore Ma’at is represented by a woman.

This is in a picture the foundation of matriarchy in Africa, it is Ma’at. The principles and laws that led to the creation of life are mainly embodied in the woman.

The woman is morally superior and gives life. The man is energetically superior. In harmony, then, the woman and the man must unite and complement each other in order to recreate the oneness of God and realize His-Her goal, which is to continue living. The woman will ordain and give life. The man will defend this life.

This divine order was codified by the writing of the myth of Isis and Osiris. Isis by her moral values begins to restore the good. She gives birth to Horus son of Osiris, whom she makes grow and who, once an adult, by his physical strength, consecrates the restoration of the good.

Aisata (Isis) and her son Horo (Horus), or Royal Mother and her son the King. Isis carries on her head the Sun Messenger of God, embedded between her cow horns feeding mother. She is, on the left, covered with gold to mark her superior solar character (Antik Forever).
This is why we see many women with yellowish skin in the Egyptian tombs

Matriarchy was reinforced by the end of nomadic life and the beginning of sedentary life. In the first towns and cities, men went to war, to hunt, it was women, mainly, who took direct care of the community. Therefore, they were defined as the pillar.

The boy takes his mother’s name, belongs to his family and is placed under the male guardianship of his brother. The uncle defends his sister’s rights and makes sure that his nephews and nieces remain connected to his mother’s family.

At the power level, it is the woman who has the rights. She is the royal mother, the tallest figure in the state. She has her son, the king, who exercises power and gives up the rights of her daughter, who takes the title of royal sister. The king is chief of politics and chief of armies. After his death, his sister’s son succeeds him. Thus, power passes from mother to daughter and is exercised by their respective children.

Isis being one with the throne on which her son sits. She spreads her wings of Ma’at, marking her superior morals. Aisata in ancient Egyptian means the throne.

The Isis is the Royal Daughter when she is born, Royal Sister when her brother becomes King, Great Royal Wife if she marries him, and Royal Mother when her own son becomes King.

Some argued that if the king in Africa chosed his sister’s child to succeed him, it was because he was sure that the child was of his blood, when he could not swear it for his own child. If that certainty has played a role, it’s not the only reason. If this had been the case, the king’s sister would have been a powerless person, charged only with giving birth to the heir. Now it is attested that she was particularly powerful. 

Cheikh Anta Diop said so in 1959 in L’Unité Culturelle de l’Afrique noire, page 111 “In Egypt it is the woman who inherits political rights but (…) it is her husband who reigns”. 60 years later, respected novelist and activist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie said about the Igbo people of Nigeria “Men were generally more powerful, but women had power” [1].

The divine order of matriarchy was thus applied throughout the whole Africa.

Matriarchy in Southern Africa

In the prestigious civilization of Zimbabwe, the Mwene Mutapa (the emperor) was crowned by his mother and married his sister. The Namwari (Royal Mother) was the highest figure in the state.

Among the Venda of South Africa, the king ascended to the throne assisted by the eldest of his sisters (Khadzi) and his brother (Ndumi). When he died, his own son became king, the Khadzi became Makhadzi (Royal Mother) and the Ndumi became Khotsimunene (Royal Father). The king thus reigned with his paternal aunt and uncle. When the three could not agree, the Makhadzi had the last word.

In the kingdom of eSwatini (former Swaziland) until today, the king reigns with his mother who bears the title of Ndlovukati. She takes up this position on the day of the coronation. When the King (Ngwenyema) is unable to exercise power, the Ndlovukati reigns.

Royal Arms of eSwatini
The lion represents the King. The elephant represents the Royal Mother. The lion is the animal with the greatest energy. Elephants are led by female
Ndlovukati Ntfombi Tfwala, current Royal Mother of eSwatini. She served as King between 1983 and 1986.

With regard to baTswana, the majority party in Botswana, Radcliffe-Brown and D Forde, said in 1953 “Essentially, the parent of the parent should be consulted in all cases involving his sisters; your opinion is very important that sometimes, when you organize a wedding, your veto can be decisive ”[2].

In the renovated Cuban empire south of DR Congo, he was the king’s chosen ancestor and could remove him from the throne. King was succeeded by his nephew.

Egyptian engraving from the time of Pharaoh Hatshepsut 3,400 years ago. The Egyptians went to the country of Punt, to the very sources of their origins, which the Egyptologist Jean Charles Coovi Gomez locates in Uganda. They are received by Queen Ati, the highest figure in the State, and her husband King Parihu

During the Swahili civilization in Kenya-Tanzania, the culmination of the region’s history, the king (Mfalme) ascended the throne by royal marriage.

In the kingdom of Buganda, the king (Kabaka) replaced his father or uncle, but reigned with his mother (Namasole) and remained under the protection of his family. It is possible even in the Kingdom of Rwanda, so there is intrigue among women to see their sons ascend the throne.

Sudan undoubtedly represents the alliance of an African stepfather, including the royal mother (Kandake / Candace) of the time of Egion, who was to take over King 2000 years ago. This tradition will continue even at the time of the Christian Orthodox Church, where the king was led by his nephew.

In Ethiopia, the black queen of Sheba, in the south of the peninsula, ruled the country.

In Somalia, where they were sometimes stoned to death under sharia law, the Cambaro and Mayran families were named by their ancestors. These are the vestiges of the erased tradition.

Matriarchy in Central Africa

Around Lake Chad, the Kanem-Bornu empire is developing. The king (May) reigned with his mother (Magira) – the highest figure in the state – and with his sister.

Among the Bamilekes of Cameroon, the Royal Mother (Mafo) was earlier her son King. The formation of the Bamun Empire, for its part, began with Queen Yen. Until the time of the famous King Njoya, his mother Nzabdunke was strong.

The Royal Mother Nzabndunke, mother of Njoya. Njoya’s father died when he was a child, she assumed the office of King

Among the Fang of Cameroon-Gabon-Equatorial Guinea, the children were named by their mothers. Consequently, the large families in Yaoundé (Mvog Atangana Mballa, Mvog Tsoungui Mballa, Mvog Fouda Mballa) bear the name of Mballa who is a woman.

In Congo, the king honors his mother and marries his sister. In some Congolese families to date, men consider their daughters to be more important than their own children.

Matriarchy in West Africa

Founded by the inhabitants of Soninke in Mauritania-Mali, it was the government of China, probably the most prestigious city in the world in the 10th century, launched under the monarchy. The emperor (Tunkara) reigned with his mother and succeeded his nephew. If we do not know the full extent of Mother Tunkara’s powers, we can deduce it from the tradition of Akan, which belongs to the Soninke origin.

Among the Ashanti, the modern Akan people of Ghana, the Asantehemaa (the royal mother) appointed the king. Osei Tutu, a prominent founder of the Ashanti Kingdom, was appointed by his grandmother. King was succeeded by his nephew.

Within the Wolof of Senegal, it is a woman (Lingeer) named King (Brack), who is her husband, her brother or her son. A privileged relationship with the sisters is legal.

Lingeer Ndate Yalla Mbodj from the kingdom of Waalo in Senegal. This woman was one of the greatest fighters to the colonial invasion

In the kingdom of Mali which succeeded in the ancient Gani, the Arab traveler Ibn Battuta reported in the 16th century that the children named were their maternal parents. Mansa Kanku Musa, the exemplary king of Mali and the most eminent man in history, was named after his mother.

In the case of the Mossi people of Burkina Faso, when the king (Mogho Naba) dies, his daughter holds the title of king at the funeral, and the whole nation comes to bow down to him.

In the present kingdom of Danhomé in Benin, the two main leaders, Migan and Mehu, were placed under the auspices of the two fathers. In the glorious kingdom of Benin in Nigeria, the king (king) succeeded his father, reigned with his mother, no major decision was taken without his consent.

The Hausa, for their part, gave the majority all their civilization. There were 17 queens before Islam. The king reigned with his mother (Madaki-Magadjiya) and his sister. Amina’s sister-in-law, the largest of the Hausa kings, was therefore taken over by the actions of King and Madaki in the death of her uncle Karama.

The matriarchy is also one of the Peuls. It is also legal within the non-Muslim Wodaabe family. She is a woman who loves her lover or her husband.

Matriarchy in North Africa

In Egypt, Pharaoh reigned with his mother and he wanted his sister to have the legal right. The brother is his success, and he is the son of his nephew, and he is his nephew. In homes, it is up to the woman to formulate rules and rules. He was before the law equal to man. The sister inherited it.

Finally, between the Berbers of Libya and the Maghreb, who are black men, the leaders take care of their mothers and sisters. The inheritance was given to the uterine brother, a remarkable custom for Ibn Battuta.

Ramesu Maryimana (Ramses II), yet already pharaoh, takes the bosom of the deity Anukhet to be invigorated
The Black Berbers – known as Moors or Saracens – and Arabs conquered and ruled Spain and Portugal for 781 years. They were the ones who initiated the European renaissance. This Muslim occupation was marked by the great freedom of women in Moorish Europe. It was the African heritage that was the reason for this.
Moorish Kingdom in Spain in 1400, facing the White Christians (Getty Museum, Los Angeles)

Note on matriarchy in the rest of the world

As Africans have inhabited every continent, they have exported matriarchy everywhere. It was therefore found in South Asia, Southern Europe and Oceania. This is why people of Asian origin who today live in Africa (Madagascar) traditionally practice matriarchy.

Matriarchy among the Amerindians is due to the mixed origins of this people. They are – essentially – a mixture of Mongols from Asia, and original American blacks, themselves from Oceania and Asia. The continent was then civilized by the Egyptians.

Ancient America, culturally, religiously and when it comes to civilization, was an extension of the pharaonic African world.

Why regression?

When Blacks – in the early times – arrived in the north of Eurasia, the glacial and food-poor climate forced them to a nomadic life and a warrior culture to monopolize scarce resources.

In these regions where the Black will become white, the woman is a burden for these constant movements. She is also less able to wage war. The woman’s physical disadvantage will be retained only, her moral role will have no value here. That is how she was seen as inferior.

This misogyny was inscribed in the white and patriarchal religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

While in Africa the woman is Ma’at, in northern thinking she is original sin, evil.

It was therefore Islam and European Christian laws that abused his matriarchy in Africa. Wherever the colonies prohibited the trade in women.

Afro-Caribbean celebrity Sylvia Serbin says: “When the father was at his peak in black Africa, the woman was in power. With Islam and Christianity, they assumed the political role “.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie adds: “The arrival of colonialism came with Victorian Christianity, which was a terrifying and white notion of the submission of women and the idea that a woman’s life was a kitchen and a room” .

Since European women made their feminist revolution in the 20th century, we have reached the dramatic turning point in history, where women in the West are free and in Africa, they suffer from numerous discriminations.

It must be said that it has only been a thousand years since the West began to consider women as human beings whereas Africa from the very beginning considered them superior.

The behavior of some African men towards the African matriarchal has passed

While many black men have accepted pride in the past, the elimination of matriarchal culture provokes angry reactions from others. They grow up in a society that honors them as a whole and brings them social and economic benefits.

The eternal insecurity and failure of women are the basis of a system of injustice that benefits only them and that they are determined to maintain. If they are not the source of the current system of injustice, they live very comfortably.

Just as the white world learns and takes advantage of poor blacks for economic and social benefits, these African men have the physical inability of women to secure their benefits.

Just as many whites know that the history of the world’s black civilizations destroys the moral foundations of their privileges, these African men know that the glorious glory of the black woman often undermines the weak foundations just for them. Everyone is concerned about the benefits of which they are inherently unfair.

Racism and sexism have the same goal: to drive out blacks and women of a human nature, to build a system that is not unfair, and to explain race and decision-making opportunities.


The corresponding arrangement for the sister-in-law, taken from Maat, was adopted according to God’s plan. Matriarchy is not imposed on African men, but accepted – in the form of creation – as the will of Imana and defended by men.

Again Maat is not everywhere, in fact everywhere in ancient Africa, in every process, every act. Leaving the laws of Creation alone to teach everything is remarkable.

Africa therefore does not need feminism to solve the problems of women. We must return to our spiritual and mental state. We go to our ancestors to solve these problems accordingly.

Dowry in Africa
The bridegroom’s family brings gifts to the bride’s family. Since women are more valuable than men, it is a question of men giving more to upgrade themselves. In the Nordic countries, dowry was given to man.
The dowry is present everywhere in Africa, even if Africans no longer know why they practice it. The dowry shows no signs of weakening. It is the most universal remnant of the black world and the best preserved of the matriarchy.

The cultural unity of black Africa, Cheikh Anta Diop
The role of Makhadzi in traditional leadership among the Venda, Pfarelo Eva Matshidze; University of Zululand.
From yesterday to today, the power of African feminism; Angeles Jurado; International mail.
[1] From yesterday to today, the power of African feminism; Angeles Jurado; International mail.
[2] The cultural unity of black Africa, Cheikh Anta Diop, page 68
[3] These great ladies who made Africa, Natacha Appanah; Young Africa


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