Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
A matriarch or clan-mother or 'chief' is a mother, or other female person in a family who is responsible for the well-being of the clan or kinship. The term is usually applied to the oldest female in an extended family, who by virtue of her position has a degree of granted authority because others have trust in her. The title can be inherited, mostly by the youngest daughter. In many matriarchal societies she is responsible mainly for distributing food and also she can be the shaman of the clan. A matriarch can never rule or govern over the members of the community because matriarchies always decide by consensus.
See also: matriarchy
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