Town of beautiful young women makes appeal for single men
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 - 17:46
A town where the entire population is made up of young women has made an appeal for single men – but only those willing to live by female rules.
Over 600 women make up the population of Noiva do Cordeiro, southeast Brazil – most aged between 20 and 35.
Although some are married with families, their husbands are made to work away from home, only being allowed to return at weekends.
Sons are sent away when they reach 18 and no other men are permitted to live in the town, which sits in a remote valley 60 miles east of Belo Horizonte.
The settlement dates back to the 1890s, when a young woman and her family were excommunicated from the Catholic church after she was accused of adultery.
Slowly more single women and mother-only families joined the community, and over the decades several attempts by men to intervene in their way of life made them adopt a strictly ‘no male’ policy.
Today, girl power rules in the rural town, with women in charge of every aspect of life – from farming to town planning and even religion.
But while none of the residents of Noiva do Cordeiro would have it any other way, it has left them with just one problem.
One of the women, Nelma Fernandes, 23, admits it’s impossible for the girls – renowned in the region as strikingly beautiful – to find a would-be spouse.
She said: “Here, the only men we single girls meet are either married or related to us, everyone is a cousin. I haven’t kissed a man for a long time.
“We all dream of falling in love and getting married. But we like living here and don’t want to have to leave the town to find a husband.
The lack of eligible bachelors has now led the community’s many single young ladies for make an appeal for interested men – but only those willing to adapt to living in a women’s world.
Picturesque Noiva do Cordeiro grew up in the rolling hills near Belo Vale, in Minas Gerais state, after founder Maria Senhorinha de Lima was branded an adulterer after leaving a man she had been forced to marry.
She was chased out of town in 1891 after the Catholic church excommunicated her and the next five generations of her family.
Shunned by the local population, she and other women who subsequently went to live with them were vilified as loose women and prostitutes, causing them to isolate themselves from the outside world.
In 1940, an evangelical pastor, Anisio Pereira, took one of the women, aged 16, to be his wife and founded a church in the growing community.
However, he proceeded to impose strict puritanical rules, banning them from drinking alcohol, listening to music, cutting their hair or using any type of contraceptive.
When Anisio died in 1995, the women decided never again to let a man dictate how they should live.
One of the first things they did was to dismantle the male-biased organised religion he had set up.