Photo by Sai Avinash on Creative Commons

Family Ecology in a Matrilineal Society

Matrilineal systems differ from patrilineal systems most commonly found across the world in that descent and inheritance can be traced through the maternal line. This is not to say that men do not have an important political and social role. Tradiationnaly, in such systems, men have an important role towards members of their clan, in particular the children of their sisters.

The Khasis are one such group living in Meghalaya, India, and are characterized by a huge diversity in living conditions (traditional, urban).

This project aims to investigate how family ecology in matrilineal systems differ from what is usually observed in patrilineal systems, and its consequences for understanding diversity in female fertility and health. It is in collaboration with Dr Langstieh, Associate Professor of Anthropology in North Eastern Hills University (Meghalaya, India).

Alex Alvergne
Research Scientist in Evolution, Ecology and Health