Mosuo Families

The Mosuo Minority people of Yunnan Province in China have a very interesting way of life. They define it as a matriarchal society. I have some problems with that definition. I will describe a day in the life of a male and a female, talk about marriage and child rearing in this society. Lastly I will expound on my ideas regarding what really makes someone the more dominant in society.
I will start with the daily life portion. A woman in the Mosuo tribe will wake up before dawn to work in the fields the older women will prepare food and look after the kids. After a day of toiling in the sun the women return home to have a man over or handle her own household affairs. A man would generally wake up late visit his friends, commonly talking and relaxing. In the night a man may visit a “Friend” at her home the Mosuo people don’t have marriage so the woman is never obligated to stay with one man for and period of time. Men must return to their mother’s home before the morning.
Men may not buy property nor may they inherit it. Everything they have is given to them by a female. In some parts of china having a female child is cause for despair but here it is the greatest thing one could hope for.
Walking marriage is what is recognized as the standard practice for people in the area. Walking marriage is a union that must be blessed by the matriarchs of both families. The man must bring gifts (much like a dowry) and have friends and family plead his case for desiring the woman’s union. Just because she is in a walking marriage doesn’t mean that she is not free to see other men or entertain other callers, it simply means that they may see one another during the day and they need not sneak around at night to meet. The people in a walking marriage cultures don’t   have a unified marital home, men never move out of their mother’s home and women eventually may choose to move out but are never pressured to get out. Couples only meet during the night and there is never an...