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女儿国泸沽湖(上) Lu Gu Lake – The Female Kingdom Ⅰ

estella  12-03-16 10:33

Language:中文 pin yin English

During the past two months of my travels in China, I went to the Western region to experience for myself the splendid scenery and explore the different cultures of ethnic minorities. From the Stone Forest in Kunming to Shangri-La, Dali and Lijiang, I distinctly felt that China is a multi-cultural country with numerous ethnic minorities. Many local people openly welcomed me and shared their culture with me. Although most minorities live in areas remote and difficult to reach, I was warmly received by the local people in each place.
In order to learn more about the traditional culture of the Mosuo ethnic group, I decided to spend a little time in Lu Gu Lake. Of course, I wanted to know more about the legendary “walking marriage” and communicate with local Mosuo people in order to understand their marriage customs. 

Departing from Lijiang and after 6 hours of bumpy mountain road, I arrived at Lu Gu Lake in The Himalayas. This is the junction between Sichuan and Yunnan. The landscape was beautiful. The driver took me to the house of two local farmers. They complimented my Chinese. They warmly invited me to taste their homegrown apples, but didn’t realize the smoke of their cigarettes irritated my eyes. But this trip was well worth it.
After I arrived at Lu Gu Lake, I deeply felt the matriarchal nature of their society. I was surprised to find that the work traditionally done by men was actually done by women; construction workers, shop owners and entrepreneurs were basically all women.
After seeing this, I began to understand why the local people say Lu Gu Lake is the last existing matriarchal society in the world. Here, the female is the head of the family and inherits the family property. They assume the leading role in markets and in the workplace. In the culture of Mosuo, the most famous and most difficult to understand is their “walking marriage”. In their culture, there is no traditional marriage; most women carry out the “walking marriage”. If a woman likes a man and wants to have relations with him, she will invite him to spend the night in her room. But very early the next morning, the man will return to his own house.

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Edit on12-03-16 10:33