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Matriarchal Society still exists in China

In a far away place in the province of Yunnan in China, about 280 miles from the world famous city of Li Jiang there is a mountain lake called Lugu Lake. It is not a very big lake. Just about 50.3 square miles in size and at 2690 meter above sea level. The water in the lake is so clear. The visibility is a few meters, rather than feet, since there is hardly any pollution at all.

The people that live around the lake are called Mor Soue people. This is the only group of people in China, perhaps in the world that are still within a matriarchal system. The head of the family is the mother or grandmother. All other members in the family are either her siblings, her own children, niece or nephews. She is the only one that controls family's financial situation. Men and women here do not get married. They have only lover or "Achia" which mean the dear one. When the boy and the girl find their "dear one", they will signal each other. The boy will go visit the girl at her house and spend the night there, then go back to his own home in the morning and make his living there. The children born out of this relationship are the girl's responsibility and the children adopt their mother's last name. The child knows who their father is but there is no close relationship between them and their father; instead, they are closer to their uncle. The boy's responsibility is to take care of his sister's children. When the relationship ends, the boy will not be welcomed at the girl's house any more. No divorce. No legal or financial matters to discuss. Both sides have the right to seek a new "Achia". In the evening, when the boy is on his way to his "Achia" 's house, when people ask him where he is going, the answer usually is "Go for a walk" so the Chinese call this kind of relationship "Walking Marriage".

In the home, the main room belong to the mother and all the family functions are held there. When the girl comes of age, she will be giving a room called "The Flower Room" for her to meet her "Achia". There is no room for the man in the house as they are expected to spend the night at their dear one's house. Occationally if they have to spend the night at their own home they will sleep with the children or any place that is available.

Because of their unique custom and the area's beautiful scenery, tourists are beginning to visit. Unfortunately, the infrastructure is not ready for tourists yet. When I visited a few years ago, there was only one hotel and it was not up to international standard. Lately, I heard a few hotels are being built to accommdate the increasing number of tourists.

With the influx of tourists some bad influences are taking effect. Somebody opened a brothel and advertised for tourists to come try a "Walking Marriage" at their place! I am glad to hear that the local government is not very pleased with that and tried to put a stop to that.

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Published on 11/4/05

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Comments [2]


Contributor: perfectfiresky [9] 8/29/10

1 of 2 people found this comment helpful.

You've visited this place before. May I know where you have heard of this society prior to your visit?

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Respect the Unique tribe

Contributor: buatatkt [28] 2/8/10

4 of 4 people found this comment helpful.

Let us respect the unique tribe of Mor soue people.. i hope no one will try to "go for walk - walking marriage" in their area.. The Govt of China is responsible to protect them..

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