The Lugu Lake, located between the Yongning Township, Ninglang County of Yunnan Province and Zuosuo Township, Yanyuan County of Sichuan Province, looks like a shining sapphire hidden deep in the mountains. This highland lake came into being as a result of fault subsidence, about 5,685 meters above the sea level. The lake looks like a horse hoof, narrow between east and west and long between south and north. As lake of transportation facilities, the natural environment here suffers from little destruction and the water is very clear. Around the Lugu Lake live the matriarchal Mosuo people, who still retain some characteristics of the period of matrilineal commune in term of their marriage form.
Last Kingdom of Ladies
In Western culture, the Garden of Eden is the home of love for Adam and Eve. But the home is gone, and can only be envied by us mortals now in imaginations. However, another Gardon of Eden does exist nearby, the one so close to us in the Northwest of Lijiang. She has another name----the Lugu Lake. Many blue brooks from the surrounding valleys flow into the lake so that she would never dry up. Reflecting the blue sky on her face, the blue lake is embraced by the blue sky on her face, the blue lake is embraced by the blue range of mountains where the fir and the dragon spruce grow in turquoise blue, azaleas in peacock blue flourish in the open land the broad bean plants in cast fields have blossomed in light blue. Look at those Mosuo girls! They are seeking their romantic love in such romantic blue. The blue gives them happiness, beauty, and lovely appearance and spirit.
The Mosuo people living on the lakeshore have unique living habits, clothing, housing and marriage customs. to this day, they have preserved the customs of matriarchal society. Men and women live in their mothers' homes even after they get married, and the couples can break their marriage at will. In a clan, the elderly women are the most respected, w ho preside over family affairs. The Mosuo people are called a "unique matriarchal kingdom."
The Mosuo people are not formally recognized as an independent ethnic group. They are actually one of the Naxi branches. The differences between them and other Naxis are just caused by different locations and environment.
Mosuo people believe that humans are children of the Goddess in the heaven. Thus, woman is regarded as the source of life and incarnation of wisdom and industriousness. It is no wonder that Mosuo people love their mother so deeply. On this mysterious land, the Goddess Mountain, Mother lake and women make up an Eden for the Mosuo. The Gemu GODDESS THAT Mosuo people believe in is not the kind of goddess that sits on a high throne but one who loves riding a horse and walking in the villages. At nights, she will lead a visiting-marriage life the same as the other women. In songs of Mosuo, there is always an image of mother. Mother is an ever-lasting topic that is praised and chanted. Mosuo mothers irrigate this wonderful land with their sweat and guard this mythology with their wisdom.
Along with the growth of Chinese flowering crabapple trees, the Mosuo society has experienced thousands of years changes and development. When night falls, a young man rides a horse to his lover's window, singing to inform her of his arrival. They stay happily together the whole night. Early in the morning next day, the young man leaves with the horse and goes back to his mother's house. This is a traditional way to confirm the united relation between two lovers. The custom is called "Zouhun" or Visiting Marriage or Axia Marriage ("Axia"in Mosuo language is used as the common name of young men). The couple does not officially get married. Their conjugality is just built on mutual affection. Therefore, it is love rather than economic demands that really matters to their special relationship. The Axia Marriage is the only living heritage of matriarchal society of the humankind.
Every Mosuo girl has a "Grown-up Ceremony" at the age of thirteen. It is like baptism. On the day, mothers will dress their daughters in "Hundred-gauffered Skirt" with their own hands, symbolizing that the girls have grown up and from the day on, they can peruse the love that they want.