Causes of Matrilocality

Sunday, September 2, 2012

A plausible theory in the causes of matrilocality is that it arises when males are obliged to absent themselves from their wives and homes for prolonged periods. This occurs when warfare, hunting, and trade change from quick short-distance forays to long-distance expeditions lasting several months. Matrilocality solves the problem of male absence structuring the domestic unit around a permanent core of resident mothers, daughters, and sisters who have been trained to cooperate with each other from childhood and who identify the minding of the store with their own material and sentimental interest. Thus, matrilocal domestic groups are less likely to be disrupted by the prolonged absence of their adult males. The ability to launch and successfully complete long-distance expeditions implies that neighboring villages will not attack each other when the men are away.