The Theme of Women in Patriarchal Societies

Essay, 2016
5 Pages, Grade: 9.3


not necessarily those of subordination because they provide women with a position of
resistance." (Bamana, 209).
The theme of music is intimately related to cosmology and women in Uzbek female
communities and Uzbek diaspora in Afghanistan. The traditional female image has strong
symbolic links with the universe as is evident from the music rituals in these communities. In
ancient societies, female cosmology identified women with mother goddesses in local
communities. "Sky was mythically associated with the "mother goddess," the giver of life,
representing all time and space" (Sultanova 9). The god of the sky in central Asia was referred
to as Tengri, representing two halves male and female. The female deities and divinities are
ubiquitous in nearly all cultures.
The Uzbek music is influenced by Sufism, a religious sect that relates divinity with
love. In Uzbek culture, there are a number of common terms for women and cosmology and
music making takes place in ceremonial contexts. Women are the center of these music rituals
on different social occasions. "The genres which women perform in the form of songs and
rituals, and the way they are performed are affected by cosmological features. Those
ceremonies are led by Otin-Oys, the Uzbek religious women held in high esteem who are
considered highly-privileged members of society" (Sultanova, 11). The religious women are
welcomed in each family and every house on special occasions when their support and advice
are needed whether during peace or during the troubled times or on holidays or weekdays. It
is believed that they can influence the destiny of human beings. They sing chanted prayers
and hymns and dance along with the singing whether solo or in a group. The same musical
fervour is also noticed in the Uzbek women in Afghanistan. "As in Uzbekistan, I saw large
groups of women with their children gathering together for celebrations around the tablecloth
in the sitting room. They were dressed in brightly colored clothes. Songs, jokes, teasing
dialogue, and songs were in the air" (Sultanova, 15).

The feminine deity prevalent in ancient cultures can also be a source of motivation for
national unification. This is especially relevant in the Middle East where a minority Christians
have traditionally co-existed in peace and harmony with the majority Muslims but are strife-
torn today. In Syria, for instance, with 10% Christians and 74% Sunnis, "an intensifying
Islamic presence color Christian attitudes and thereby the particular refrains that are sounded
out. Christianity increasingly poses refrains as counter punctual to Islam" (Bandak, 249). The
festivals of the two religions are popularly celebrated in Damascus. Processions are a
particular Christian manifestation that creates a Christian moral universe. "The city, town, or
landscape is rewritten with Christian significance. This may be in celebrations of a grand
scale, such as, in particular, Easter and, with some variation, Christmas" (Bandak, 251).
Similarly, the month of Ramadan in Damascus is marked by a different societal rhythm that
influences the life of Christians as well. Mosques can be seen in Christian neighbourhoods.
"The mosques and the churches are thus at once a part of the mundane experience of being
part of the fabric of Damascus and are simultaneously materialized histories that also have the
potential to make diverse histories manifest and therefore diverse experiences in the concrete
present, which is currently colored in dark tones by the revolution and the increasing
conservatism of parts of the Muslim population" (Bandak, 254).
However, despite the Christian and the Muslim space and refrain that is plural and
antagonistic at the same time, there is another refrain ­ the national refrain ­ evident in the
Christian procession when the Syrian flag is carried in the forefront. Therefore, the emergence
of mosques in the Christian dominant space does not detract from the classic traditions of
shared shrines. The sharing has, however, become increasingly difficult in the Middle East. In
the context of the above discussion, it is pertinent to point out that Christianity, nations, and
nationalisms from diverse traditions corroborate each other. Christianity in its diverse forms
identifies Christ or the Virgin Mary as the protector of the church as well as the nation.
Villages and towns, cities and nations identify the Virgin with different names and the
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The Theme of Women in Patriarchal Societies
University of Delhi  (Anthropology)
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ISBN (eBook)
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theme, women, patriarchal, societies
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Ajit Jha (Author), 2016, The Theme of Women in Patriarchal Societies, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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