In the west the feminists fight for a more egalitarian society. But what about elsewhere? In some traditional societies the women have always assumed the predominant social and spiritual rôles. Equality, mutual respect between the sexes, freedom is accorded to all. Among these peoples, women are recognized for their individuality and their ability.
Pierre de Vallombreuse met four South-east Asian tribes where the female lines occupy a decisive place in the organization of both family and society. These are peoples where to be born a woman is neither a condemnation nor a punishment.
Among the Khasi, a society which is both matrilineal and matrilocal, that is where the husband goes to live in the wife’s community on marriage, in North-east India, the children are given the mother’s name at birth and the youngest female among the siblings inherits both the land and the family possessions.
Among the Palawan, a tribe in the Philippines with very little hierarchy, men and women live in complete equality, and are given exceptional importance according to the noble values of goodwill, generosity and mutual help.
In the South-west of China, the position of the woman is unique among the Moso people who practice all forms of matriarchy even as far as entrusting the children’s education to the care of the maternal uncles.
Finally the Badjao in Malaysia abolish all forms of hierarchy and advocate a free and egalitarian society, which leaves the best share to the women.
Endearing and intriguing, these little girls, young women, mothers and grandmothers are shown through the images and Pierre de Vallombreuse’s close and respectful look at their freedom and their fulfillment in some of the most isolated places on the planet.
SOUVERAINES : The peoples where the women are liberated
Pierre de Vallombreuse
– From October 13th to November 21st, 2015
43 rue Daubenton
– From October 22th to November 20th, 2015
21 av du Maine
SOUVERAINES : Ces peuples ou les femme sont libres
Photographs by Pierre de Vallombreuse
Texts by Tristan Savin, editor at large of Long Cours, literary critic Lire and L’Express & reporter for GÉO.