Noiva do Cordeiro in south east Brazil is home to 600 women, mainly aged between 20 and 35.
While some are married, their husbands are forced to work away from home and can only return on weekends.
Sons are sent away at the age of 18, and no other men are allowed to live full-time in the town, which is located in a remote valley.
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 when she left a man she had been forced to marry.
Slowly, more single women and mother-only families joined the community, and several attempts by men to interfere with their way of life only strengthened their desire to live in a strictly female environment.
However, the women, who are renowned in the region as being strikingly beautiful, are now prepared to relax the rules so that single members of the community can find a husband.
Nelma Fernandes, 23, said: “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.
“We’d like to get to know men who would leave their own lives and come to be a part of ours.
“But first they need to agree to do what we say and live according to our rules.”
The town’s founder Maria Senhorinha de Lima and the next five generations of her family were excommunicated by the Catholic church in 1891.
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 just 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.
Resident Rosalee Fernandes, 49, said: “We have God in our hearts. But we don’t think we need to go to church, get married in front of a priest or baptise our children. These are rules made up by men.
“There are lots of things that women do better than men. Our town is prettier, more organised, and far more harmonious than if men were in charge.