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The Last Women’s Kingdom in China: Mosuo Legends

June 19, 2017

When asking what is Women’s Kingdom, it refers to the matriarchal system, which means female is the head of the family, relationship, government and society. Mosuo is almost the last matriarchal tribe of the world.

The Chinese writer Yang Erche Namu is the most famous people who comes from Mosuo tribe. She is always wear a exaggerated flower on the head when face to the public. Wondering why she put such a big headdress, she answered “it is my culture. Mosuo tribe takes flowers as jewelry, “if we can, we will put all flowers on my head, it is brilliant.”

But what the most interesting thing of Mosuo culture is not about the flower, but “walking marriage(also known as zouhun)” and “Male position in Mosuo tribe”.

 

Walking Marriage

Mosuo living around Lugu Lake , on the border of Yunan and Sichuan provinces. To travel there, everyone has to take bus or car for seven hours, there is no other transposition.

Because of the bad transportation facilities, Mosuo has little connection with other ethnics, this is also why their marriage culture are so different with majority of others.

In the Mosuo culture, marriage does not exist, couples are not tied by any relationship, the children are raised by their mother and mother’s family. 

Mosuo tribe usually lives in a common place, which mean extended families, and several generations live together in the same house. When girls grow up, she will have a skirt ceremony, and after the ceremony, girls can wear skirt, have a separate room from others. At this time, she can host lovers. 

When a man falls in love with her, he will tell her the visiting of the night. If the girl accept, she need to open the window and hang a decoration to tell the man where she is. The man must enter from the window and leave the house before sunrise. If he stayed late than girls’ relatives get up, it is impolite. 

The lovers will not marry even when they give birth to a baby. And they do not live together as well. When a baby born, the man should prepare a feast for it, also, when holiday comes, the man will celebrate it with his children. The children are raised by mother and mother’s family. Father has little things to do with children

If the man or woman wanted to interrupt a relationship, the woman only needs to close the window and the man never visit. 

Because of the strange walking marriage system, many people take Mosuo tribe as a sexual free and a heaven for the man.

Actually, walking marriage does not mean sexual free, incest and group sex. There are some rules of the system. Intermarriage in the gens was prohibited. Although having several lovers and children from different women or men is acceptable, however most of people choose to undertake monogamous relationships. Also, when the couples give birth to a baby, they should share their relationship with others. 

So if anyone just wanted to have a sexual tourism along the Lugu Lake of Mosuo tribe, it is hard . But some prostitutes may dressed with traditional Mosuo Clothes to get benefits.

 

Male Position in Mosuo

Although Mosuo is the Women Kingdom, men still play very important part in the society. They have to do the fishing, farming, and support their mother’s family.

Father has no responsibility for his children, but he has to take care of his family’s children. Maybe it is his sister’s or aunt’s kids. It is strange, but still work well in their tribe. Uncle pay more attention to a kid instead of the father. In this position, divorce or a broken relationship will never hurts children. 

But what if there are no male in a family? Adoptions are common among Mosuo families, when a family needs males, adoption will be the first choice. They also use this way to get gender balanced.

 

 

 

 

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