Mosuo women enjoy a freedom from reproductive demands that is foreign to most Chinese cultures. Otherwise the typical Mosuo home consists of communal quarters, with no other private bedrooms or living areas. Many choose to cement their intimate bond through a small ceremony during which, in keeping with the secrecy of nocturnal visits, a representative of the man presents gifts to his lover's kin. Mosuo 'marriage'[ edit ] The Mosuo men practice tisese which misleadingly translates as walking marriage in Chinese. The following are convictions about marriage that scholars, politicians, and citizens from the East and West including traditional Chinese patriarchy believe are true of family and kinship: But when children are born, they become a responsibility of the woman's family.
The quality and stability of a couple's marriage profoundly affects their children's welfare and security. Mosuo anthropology[ edit ] Walking marriage vs. Mosuo culture does have characteristics of a matriarchal society, in that women are the head of the household, the property is passed down through the female line, and the women make business decisions; yet political power tends to be in the hands of males, disqualifying them from matriarchy status. Anthropologist Cai Hua termed tisese as 'furtive' or 'closed' visiting, meaning no public acknowledgement or obligations are required between parties. Still, whenever a man spends the night with a lover, even after such ceremony, he must return to his maternal residence in the morning. Today[ edit ] Though the practice of tisese is a traditional Mosuo practice, today many couples have redefined the term. This prevented threats to nobility power by having the peasant class trace lineage through the female line. The Mosuo responded to these visitors by building hotels and other attractions to bring more visitors. Since leadership was hereditary, the peasant class was given a matriarchal system. Mosuo girls become Mosuo women[ edit ] A Mosuo girl is considered a woman after she has participated in the coming of age ceremony. During these unions a woman may become pregnant by the same man multiple times. The Mosuo generally live in large extended families with many generations under one roof. Prior to the coming of age ceremony, Mosuo children dress the same and are restricted from certain aspects of Mosuo life, namely religious ceremonies. Children in a household are taken care of by their mother's family. Typically walking marriages are long term. The Mosuo family life offers an exception that questions these convictions. If the man does not reciprocate this desire, he may simply never visit the woman's household. The practice of walking marriage allows two people to pursue intimacy as equals purely for the sake of satisfaction. But when children are born, they become a responsibility of the woman's family. Most Mosuo people celebrate a matrilineal culture, tracing lineage through the female side of the family. Mosuo women enjoy a freedom from reproductive demands that is foreign to most Chinese cultures. However, the Mosuo term literally means 'goes back and forth'. Though a Mosuo woman is allowed to change partners whenever she likes, having only one sexual partner is not uncommon. Instead of marrying and sharing family life with spouses, adult Mosuo children remain in extended, multigenerational households with their mother and her blood relatives. Romantic and sexual unions are governed solely by the woman and man involved. Typical Mosuo home[ edit ] Mosuo matrilineality is largely based on the woman's role as head of the household.
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