Primitive Societies Were Not So Primitive!

Culture, History

By Farah K. Yachouhi

May 23, 2016

We are taught that life is linear and that it is a series of our achievements where one leads to the other, but most of us are good at things that are generally not promoted in our educational system! What about walking on your hands just as easily as walking on your feet? What about being haunted by music and constantly having the urge to make noise on counter tops? What about scoring every hoop you shoot? What about loving the smell of lead and charcoal smudged all over your hands?

Our educational system is a result of thousands of years of predominantly patriarchal societies that had adopted logic, rationality, dogma and science but condemned the senses, practicality, spirituality, and art! We live in a world where we are constantly in a struggle for survival rather than in an effort for continuity and progression. As a result, we are constantly being conditioned and reconditioned into liking things we naturally dislike. When did this all start?

Primitive societies that date back to prehistoric times were of a matriarchal nature that promoted prosperity, peace and abundance. Unlike male dominant patriarchal societies, a matriarchal society is not female dominant. It is about the balance of feminine and masculine and a profound connection to nature.

In hunter-gatherer societies or primitive societies, when a woman was skilled in hunting, she could hunt. If a man prefered gathering herbs and plants over hunting, he could do so without being any less masculine than his fellow male hunters. Harmony was key and this was achieved by learning how to balance the masculine and the feminine within each individual. Primitive societies were not so primitive, but how did we end up where we are today?

Civilizations emerged from these societies that continued in the matriarchal trend. Let’s take Ancient Egypt as an example. Countless statues depict the queen and the pharaoh either sitting or standing side by side with the queen’s arm wrapped around the pharaoh from behind. Through their frescos and art we understand that these societies also endorsed the idea of ‘good living’ that was taught to the populace through rituals and ceremonies.

Weighing of the heart ceremony reminded the people of the moment when Anubis, god of the underworld, weighed the heart of the deceased against a feather. If their heart was no heavier than a feather, then they could pass to the after life. With that, the populace learned to be light of heart. Where does our love for material, power, possession and greed come from?


Anubis (with the jackal head) takes the deceased to the balance of justice, where he weighs the deceased’s heart against a feather. 


Later works of art represented this ceremony with a core difference. As priesthood, organized religion and dogma started to gradually rise and gain power, a shift towards a patriarchal society started to take place. Priests started popularizing the idea of paying for one’s salvation.

Paintings from the tomb of Petosiris at Muzawaka (m)

At the bottom left of fresco, Anubis and Horus are holding the balance of justice as the deceased on the top waits for their verdict. To their right, riches are being offered.


History is preserved in art and architecture. As patriarchy rooted itself, all of those who came to power attempted to erase the matriarchal past. Today, art in all its forms is no longer regarded as important. Our educational system gives birth to zombie-like generations that get an education just to fall into a vicious circle of hard work that can be almost called slavery. The human race has been conditioned to become greedy, materialistic, and selfish. How do you feel about what you do? Do you lose track of time while doing it? If not, then know that it is not what you are naturally built for!