Not Too Far From The Amazon
There are beautiful girls, who are eager to get married… however, hardly a groom is available for them! Hence, the young girls remain unmarried. Although it is hard to believe, it happens with girls belonging to a Brazilin town.
Noiva do Cordeiro (translating as Bride of the lamb) is a remote town in southeast Brazil, where nearly all the residents are women. More than 600 women live in this town, and those, who got married, have never left the town, thus, staying without their husbands. The husbands visit their wives on weekends. Apart from that, boys leave the town for jobs when they complete the age of 18 years. It may be noted that the town of Noiva do Cordeiro is nestled in Belo Vale, which translates as Beautiful Valley. It is a hilly region, 300 miles north of Rio de Janeiro.
A recent study has revealed that girls of Noiva do Cordeiro remain unmarried because of an age-old local custom. As per the custom, no girl will leave the village even after marriage, and the husband will have to stay with his wife there. This matriarchal custom has turned out to pose a huge problem for the young girls of the town. Beautiful and marriageable girls cannot find suitable partners for them, as few boys from nearby towns want to marry the girls of Noiva do Cordeiro, due to the custom.
There is a story behind this custom. In 1890, a girl named Maria Senhorinha de Lima was reportedly married off against her will. A couple of months later, she had left her in-law’s house, and returned to her residence. Maria founded Noiva do Cordeiro in 1891, and it was then, the villagers decided that no girl from this town would go to her in-law’s house after marriage. Instead, their husbands would have to stay with them in Noiva do Cordeiro. Girls have to stay unmarried because of this strange custom in the Brazilian town.
As per another folk, Maria Senhorinha de Lima settled in this town when she was accused of adultery, and was exiled from her church and home in 1891. Rosalee Fernandes (49), a fourth-generation member of the town, has said that the stigma is yet to be disappeared. “We were totally isolated because of the prejudice we faced as a result,” she stressed. Rosalee has been fighting a campaign to ensure that the concerned authorities do not continue to side-line the community. According to Rosalee, the female-male ratio in Noiva do Cordeiro is not as bad as it seems, with some men living there. However, they usually spend the week away from the town, working as miners in the nearest city, Belo Horizonte. She said: “We miss the men a lot. We always look forward to the weekend when they return.”
For her part, the 29-year-old Elida Dayse said: “We are always happy to receive visitors. Though none of us speak French.” She further said that the male visitors used to arrive in the town in the past. She recalled that a Chilean man had visited Noiva do Cordeiro, and married a local girl nearly 17 years ago. Kaila Fernandes (28), a single woman, has claimed that she, and other single women, are not desperate for outsiders to tie the nuptial knot. “I never worry about this side of life. I don’t think about marriage. I am sure love will happen independent of the place. My love will arrive at the right time,” she stressed.
There are some other places, especially for women, in this world. Umoja Village in Kenya’s Samburu County is entirely run by women, as men are not allowed there. A small island, named Kihnu, in the Baltic Sea and a part of the Parnu Country in Estonia is the place where women have absolute power, as the men mostly stay out onshore. It’s the women at home who manages everything in their absence. Meanwhile, the sacred south-western Japanese island of Okinoshima has banned women, and allowed up to 200 men a year to step in the island where Shinto priest offer prayers to the island’s goddess.
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