Moso walking marriage


The Moso live in a unique type of society among the peoples of China: a type of matriarchy modified in some aspects by the centuries of outer influences. It is thought that in remote times the Chinese society was matriarchal. Some of the Chinese indigenous peoples lived in matriarchal systems until few centuries ago.

Among the Moso there is not marriage as we understand it. Instead they practice a kind of marriage called azhu, for which when the night falls; the men go to the woman's house, leaving it before dawn. That doesn't mean that the women change lover every night, although they could make it, but rather that the man has no right on the woman, neither on the children that she can born.

The relationships between the men and the women last, therefore, only the time that their love (or their passion) lasts; and when their love ends, the couples separate.

If the relationship is long in the time, the children know who their father is, although that concept doesn't have any relevance for them. The important thing for the children is the family where they spend their life, the family of her mother, where the maximum authority is the grandmother.

Under her guidance, her daughters and their children live, as well as the descendants of their daughters.

Every girl, reaching her adult age, will move from the children's room to her own room, where she can receive her lovers.

This system of feminine power has cohabited in the last centuries, with a system of masculine power, in which the men occupied the main roles of the political and religious power, especially from the time the Lamaist religion arrived to their lands. It has permeated many aspects of Moso culture and traditions. Not only their main deities are goddesses, but even the political power has some remarkable feminine characteristics.

It is said that in the imperial times, if a revolt surged in Moso lands, the tusi (local headman) used to go to apologize the people, implying that his bad management was the last reason of the revolt.

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