The Paternal Side of the Family within a Matrilineal Society: An Example of the Minangkabau in Indonesia
Keywords:Bako, Cognates, Minangkabau, West Sumatra
There are numerous publications about the Minangkabau society in West Sumatra. Often the focus of the anthropologists is on the matrilineal social structure. Only very few researchers look at the situation of the father and the male family members. In this article, the researchers want to consider the paternal side of the family. This view is essential as there have been many changes in the past years. The researchers used a qualitative research approach that observed the village life of one community. Various open-ended interviews were conducted. Both the traditional representatives of the matrilineages and the local population were given the opportunity to express their opinions. In addition, the local publications were analysed too. In these books, traditional scholars publish their views. In the past, there were patrilineal elements, like the kingdom, within the Minangkabau society. The historical perspective shows that such patrilineal elements were important in daily life. Furthermore, it was discovered that cognates play a crucial role in certain rites and have become more influential nowadays. Nevertheless, the matrilineal concept still plays an essential role, particularly in the rules of exogamy and inheritance.