When does matriliny fail? The frequencies and causes of transitions to and from matriliny estimated from a de novo coding of a cross-cultural sample

Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B Vol/Iss. 374(1780) Royal Society Publishing Published In Pages: 1-15
By Shenk, Mary K., Begley, Ryan O., Nolin, David A., Swiatek, Andrew


Transitions away from matriliny are positively associated with increased social complexity, markers of colonialism, and subsistence transitions towards pastoralism, intensive agriculture, or a market economy.


Markers of colonialism included: introduction of outside judicial system, introduction of government officials, introduction of a foreign language. Markers of social complexity included: any stratification, total population about 10 000, any slavery. Markers of subsistence transition included: introduction of money, introduction of new animals. (p. 8) For a full list of all the variables tested see page 10 of the article.


Test NameSupportSignificanceCoefficientTail
Bayesian double-logit modelSupportedUNKNOWNUNKNOWNUNKNOWN