Off estonian costs, lost in the frozen Baltic sea, a little island is home of one of the last matriarchy. Since the beginning of the XIXth century, women are managing the 500 souls community. Men mostly fishermen are going away fishing during several month, leaving behind wife and kids and responsibility to take care of animals and crops. But what matters the most to Kihnu’s women are the traditions and its persistence. In 2008, the Kihnu culture was proclaimed intan- gible cultural heritage by the UNESCO.
Women are teachers, gardians, congresswomen, lobbyist or shopkeeper and are proudly wea- ring the traditional skirt in their daily life. In Kihnu, folk and traditions are part of everyday life and are more important than anything else in the community. At school, kids are taught violon and accordion as well as Kihnu’s dialect. Women and kids are gathering at the community center which is also the island museum, to celebrate, dance and sing. When the see isn’t frozen, a fer- ry boat connect the island to the closest mainland town, Parnu. During winter, a small plane is also running. During strong winter times, people of Kihnu can spend several days, sometimes weeks cut fro the rest of the world.
For Kihnu’s women, men have a important goal in their household : bringing money. Even if they praise their men’s strength, women are proud of their independence.