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On This Matriarchal European Island, Ancient Customs Thrive
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10/25/2018 at 5:18:39 PM GMT
Posts: 115
On This Matriarchal European Island, Ancient Customs Thrive

By Rachel Brown —

“A four-hour ferry ride off the coast of Estonia, the sunlit conifers and coastal meadows of Kihnu Island rise gently from the Baltic Sea. You can bike from one end to the other in half an hour. Its four villages house around 700 people—only two thirds of whom live there year-round—and there is no hotel. Yet the island receives 12 times more tourists per resident than some of the most visited places in the world.

These tens of thousands of visitors don’t come for landmarks or amusement parks. Instead, they’re here to experience the unique culture of a place often touted as Europe’s last matriarchal society.

'Kihnu women have a very important role: to keep the cultural traditions,' says Mare Mätas, president of the Kihnu Cultural Space Foundation and a driving force in many community projects. 'They are taking care of the human life [cycle].'


To continue reading, visit the full article on National Geographic’s website.

Brown, Rachel. “On This Matriarchal European Island, Ancient Customs Thrive.” National Geographic. (October 18, 2018). <>

Last edited Thursday, October 25, 2018

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