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Mosuo culture. Crystal Mendoza Kristen Gomez Kaitlin Burke Georgia Huston Adolescent Psychology Dr. Sara Villanueva 2 December 2013. Introduction- Origins. Population: 40,000 people. Lugu Lake in Southern China Known as “The Kingdom of Women ” - matriarchal community .

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mosuo culture
Mosuo culture

Crystal Mendoza

Kristen Gomez

Kaitlin Burke

Georgia Huston

Adolescent Psychology

Dr. Sara Villanueva

2 December 2013

introduction origins
Introduction- Origins

Population: 40,000 people.

Lugu Lake in Southern China

Known as “The Kingdom of Women” -matriarchal community.

Tibetan Plateau

No standing army


physical milestones of the mosuan culture
Physical Milestones of the Mosuan culture
  • Age of Sexual Autonomy
  • Age of puberty
  • Physical Maturity
  • (Most information is with a hetero couple)
additional biological variables
Additional Biological Variables
  • Diet
  • Lifespan
  • Education
  • Isolation
  • Health
gender roles
Gender Roles

Walking Marriages—women have more power

Family Responsibilities—men have less responsibility

Children live in maternal household

ceremony life
Ceremony Life

Ceremony occurs at 12-14-years-old

“Skirt Ceremony” for girls

“Pants Ceremony” for boys

cognitive domain
Cognitive Domain
  • Synaptic Pruning—”use it or lose it” principle
    • Agrarian society with emphasis on family-focused relationships
  • Gender roles vary significantly
    • Both girls and boys are taught to value, seek, and enjoy sexual activities
    • Women do majority of physical/manual labor
language and education
Language and Education
  • No written language—all history, culture, and religion passed down orally
  • Formal education system extremely underdeveloped
    • Clash of traditional rural/familial education with formal education
    • Very few students graduate from high school, few-to-none attend college
belief systems
Belief Systems
  • Tibetan Buddhism
    • Four Noble Truths
      • Presence of Suffering
      • Desire brings Suffering
      • Suffering can be ended through achieving Nirvana
      • Steps to Nirvana are known as the “Noble Eightfold Path”
  • Daba
    • “Original” religion of the Mosuo culture, has been largely replaced by Buddhism in recent history
    • Nature worship
    • Daba priests still called to perform special events
  • Uniqueness of the Mosuo Culture
    • Walking Marriages/ Women as head of household
    • “Skirt” and “Pant” Ceremony to mark the age of adulthood
    • Variation/reversal of gender roles in the household
  • Western World vs. Mosou culture
  • Tourismin the area has recently boomed.
  • The modern is growing around the ancient.

Coming-of-age Ceremony. (2011, June 29). Retrieved November, 2013, from Lugu Lake, Mysterious Women's Kingdom website:

Gong, B., & Yang, C.-L. (2012, June). Gender differences in risk attitudes: Field experiments on the matrilineal Mosuo and the patriarchal Yi. In Gender Differences in Risk Aversion and Competition, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization.

Journeyman Pictures, & ABC Australia. (1995, October). Mosuo Women- China [Video file]. Retrieved from

Long-term and sustainable Projects for the Mosuo Minority. (2013). Retrieved November, 2013, from Hidden China website:

Mosuo: A mysterious matriarchal group in china. (2003). Retrieved November, 2013, from China Culture website:

The Mosuo Culture. (2006). Retrieved from Lugu Lake Mosuo Cultural Development Association website:

Mosuo of China. (n.d.). Retrieved from JoshuaProject website:

Shaitly, S. (2010, December 18). Is China's Mosuo tribe the world's last matriarchy? Retrieved November, 2013, from The Guardian website:

Stacey, J. (2009). Unhitching the Horse from the Carriage: Love and Marriage Among the Mosuo. Utah Law Review. Retrieved from