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Welcome to the website for the Lugu Lake Mosuo Cultural Development Association! Here, you can learn a lot about the Mosuo, and the work that we are doing with them.  

The Mosuo are, to many people, one of the most fascinating minority groups in China.   Although commonly described as a matriarchal culture, the truth is much more complicated (and interesting) than that, and really defies categorization in traditional models. In general, it is true that Mosuo women take a leading role in the family (owning property, making business decisions, etc.); and that women have more power/autonomy in many regards than in many other cultures. But there are many non-matriarchal facets of their culture, as well.  
Of course, one of the most interesting – and famous – aspects of Mosuo culture is the practice of “walking marriages”, a practice in which couples do not marry, but rather women can choose (and change) partners as they wish. But modern depictions of the Mosuo as sexually promiscuous (particularly marketing of Lugu Lake as a “sex tourist” area) are misleading at best, and often damaging. For more information, read our section on Mosuo culture.

The Mosuo face many modern challenges, and the purpose of the Lugu Lake Mosuo Cultural Development Association is to work with the Mosuo as partners, to provide them with the tools, knowledge, and skills necessary to accomplish the goals that they have determined are most important. All projects are led by a team of Mosuo leaders (read our Statement of Purpose for more information about this), and focus on projects that are long-term and sustainable (not just giving hand-outs that promote dependence on outside aid).

One of our biggest projects is working on developing a written language for the Mosuo (who currently have only an oral language). We have projects to develop education by training teachers, and providing financial support for students. We have projects that focus on economic development, cultural preservation, environmental protection…and much, much more!

In short, our goals are very ambitious, and we need your help!   So please, take the time to browse through our site, learn more about the Mosuo, and about the many different projects we are planning to do with them. If you are interested, have questions, or want to get involved, please contact us! And don't forget to check out our discussion forum, where you can share your ideas and experiences with others.

 


© 2006 Lugu Lake Mosuo Cultural Development Association

photos taken by Danny Gawlowski and Josie Liming