chapter  9
15 Pages

NINE: Cakes, Fish, and Matrilineality

When it came to peopling the habitable parts of the world with modern human beings, women didn’t just tag along, lugging a few necessities and herding the children, while the men strode forth on the great adventure. Well before women in places like Moravia were weaving fi ne clothes, some women who had already reached the shores of southern Asia may have been part of the construction crews for seagoing boats that would carry them across 50 miles of ocean to a land they could not have known existed, at least early in the migrations. This was, of course, Australia, the smallest, driest, and fl attest of all the continents.