Mosuo and Lugu Lake

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The Mosuo are one of the fifty-six ethnic groups in China. Their unique walk-marry custom brought them fame in recent years. The Mosuo live with their maternal families even after they marry. As a result, the head of a household is a woman. Lugu Lake, where the Mosuo reside, is referred to as Country of Daughters, or Kingdom of Women in China.

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I lived with the Mosuo from 2004 to 2005 for a research project in anthropology. The village I stayed was relatively undeveloped at the time. The roads were unpaved and some households didn’t have electricity, but at the same time, satellite dishes could be seen on some rooftops. Mosuo women are hardworking. While the men could be seen smoking and playing cards, I seldom saw an idle Mosuo woman during the day. They were always doing something, feeding the livestock, tending the vegetable fields, or taking care of their babies. Even when they were taking a break from manual labor, they would be embroidering baby’s clothes or stitching an insole.

Here is a popular video on the Mosuo:

For more information:

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