Saturday, June 11, 2011
World's Last Matriarchal Society
High in the mountains of southwest China live the members of the Mosuo Tribe, widely-thought to be the last matriarchal society in the world. With 40,000 residents residing in villages alongside the pristine Lugu Lake, the people of this “Kingdom of Women” have no words in their language for “husband” or “father.” Women make all major decisions, own all land and dwellings, and maintain sole custody of the children born into their society.
Most importantly, the women of the Mosuo tribe practice a zuo hun, or “walking marriage,” which means that after they are initiated at the age of 13 women may take as many lovers as they wish throughout their lifetime. Any resulting children are raised by the women of the tribe and men are all referred to as “Uncles.” Paternity is never discussed or questioned.