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The Women's Kingdom [Copy link] 中文

Rank: 4

Post time 2005-12-21 23:30:00 |Display all floors
The Women's Kingdom -- that's how some people describe Lugu Lake, home to the Mosuo, one of China's smaller minority groups.  It is a somewhat exaggerated description, but the Mosuo are nevertheless one of the most unique cultures I've ever experienced.

The Mosuo are a matriarchal culture (well, actually, they are matrilineal, but its a relatively small point), in which women are the head of the household, and own the property.  They practice $$an Buddhism, as well as their own native religion called Da Ba.

But what they are most famous for is their practice of "walking marriages".  In traditional Mosuo culture, couples do not get married...instead, the women simply pick partners as they wish.  A woman may choose to have one lover her whole life, or she may choose to have many different lovers (the latter choice being more common)...but she will never get married.

The Mosuo also live in one of the poorest regions of China.  Many Mosuo villages still have no electricity; most of them have no running water.  Average annual income is RMB 500-1000.  The quality of education offered to most children is abysmally poor.

I have recently set up a non-profit organization to work with the Mosuo, and help them address some of their more serious needs.  This organization is run by the Mosuo themselves -- all that I do is help them find money/resources to accomplish their most immediated goals.  Some of the projects we have begun, or plan to begin soon:

* The Mosuo have their own unique oral language, but no written form of their language.  We are bringing in linguistic professionals to help them develop a written form of their language.

* We are setting up women's training centers, to train young women in various skills that they can use to make more money.  Our first training center trains women how to hand weave traditional Mosuo clothing/fabrics, and then we help them sell it in neighboring tourist centers like Lijiang and Kunming

* Because there are not enough qualified teachers living in that area, many of the schools use local volunteer teachers.  But many of these volunteers themselves have never finished high school.  We plan to send in professional trainers to work with these volunteers, and help improve their own knowledge and skills, so that they can pass that on to their students.  We also plan to help provide more qualified teachers in future.

* We are setting up artist exchange programs, where we invite international artists -- painters, writers, musicians, etc. -- to spend time living at Lugu Lake, then produce something that reflects their experience there.

There are many other things that we are planning to do.  If you're interested to get more information, please go to the Mosuo Website (, where you'll find far more detailed information about the Mosuo, their culture, their situation, and our work with them.

And for anyone who is interested to see the Mosuo for themselves, we are planning a trip to Lugu Lake during the Spring Festival, from Jan. 31-Feb. 5.  Anyone who wants to join us is welcome...the more, the better!

[ Last edited by canadianguy at 2005-12-21 11:33 PM ]

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Post time 2005-12-21 23:39:45 |Display all floors

More pictures

Here's a shot of some of the Mosuo women singing to a guest as they offer some of the local alcohol.

[ Last edited by canadianguy at 2005-12-21 11:41 PM ]

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Post time 2005-12-21 23:42:29 |Display all floors

More pictures

A shot of Lugu Lake, one of the highest lakes in the world

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Post time 2005-12-22 01:35:33 |Display all floors
So Canadianguy, have any of those ladies chosen YOU yet?

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Rank: 6Rank: 6

Post time 2005-12-22 08:36:59 |Display all floors

Wow! wonderful pictures ......

Thanks for information.......fantanstic!

A women's Kingdom--- a woman's dream.....

really want to join you , but a pity....  cann't go......

someday in the near future.......

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Rank: 8Rank: 8

Post time 2005-12-22 09:42:34 |Display all floors

Reply #4 meiguoracing's post

No, they chhose who they want.

The door will be open at mid-night only for him!!!
A very good One night stand!!!

Those women who wants to be head of family,Join the Musou.
By heritage.
What's on your mind now........ooooooooooooooo la la....Kind Regards

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Rank: 8Rank: 8

Post time 2005-12-22 11:07:06 |Display all floors
Oh, I wish I could join the Musou, but I'm white. Darnit.
Or I wish I could go on your trip, but darnit again!
Or at least I wish you could set me up with the guy on the left, he's cute!

Really, thank you for all that information. I particularly love the clothing of many of these minority groups. I would love to live with them for a while, that would be so incredible. Do they speak Mandarin?

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