The long house and the matrilineal family The long house is the residence of a great matrilineal family. Traditionally, the house accommodates the families of daughters and grand daughters who were the descendants of one mother. Before the middle of the 20th century, there were dozens of families living in the long house. The whole family worked together and shared rice and other food. Property was held in common and customary law of the Ede stipulated that the property should be managed by the household’s most senior woman. After marriage, a son would reside in this wife’s house but still retain a special position in the families of his sisters and his nieces. The important role of women was (and continues to be) a special feature of Ede society.
Photography © Quintin Lake, 2010
Text © 2005 by Vietnam Museum of Ethnology