A tradition that may never change.
A culture that is famous and most misunderstood. Their practice of Walking marriages known in Chinese as zou hun, meaning the men walk to the house of their partner at night and return to their homes the next morning.
They live in large extended families and this goes on for many generations. All the families living together in on home.
Most of them live within communal quarters, this is without private bedrooms, or living areas.
Girls when coming of age, have their private bedrooms.
Traditionally, the women of Mosuo who have an interest in a man will ask him over to spend the night with her, this is conducted secretly. The man will walk over to her house, thus the reason for describing this as a Walking marriage. He will spend the night with her and return home the next morning.
The women do change partners as often as they choose to, but only having one sexual partner. This is not expected and is neither common.
The relationship is long-term for most of the couples, and few of those woman will have more than one partner at a time.
It is described as a serial monogamy, and most couples last a life time. The man never goes to the woman’s family and vice versa. He lives with his family and continues to see the woman, but there is no sharing of property or finance issues.
If there are children, the father has not much responsibility for them. Some of these children don’t know who their fathers are. When the father wants to be involved in his child’s life he brings presents for the mother’s family and makes his point of interest to the children. A kind of official status made within the family but he doesn’t play much of a father figure to his children, instead the uncles of the children play their role of raising them.
The child is raised by the mother’s family, and take her family name.
Men however, share their responsibilities, the uncles get involved.
There are no divorce and child custody questions.
No splitting of property and if the parents die, there are still the extended families that can take care of the children.
In most cultures a specific gender, it is likely the female will join the family of the male, when she gets married. If the couple has more female children, after marriage they will be a loss to them, this means no one will be able to take care of them when at an old age.
The male children will be taken care of by their wives. The poorer populations are affected by this kind of life. The strong preference are the male children.
In the Mosuo culture, neither the female nor male children will ever leave home, so no preference of gender.
If the gender balance is unbalanced they adopt the gender in need
Coming of Age Ceremony
The ceremony occurs around the ages of twelve to fourteen. A very important event in the child’s life. Before this time, the children dress the same,and are restricted from many aspects of life, but after the ceremony has taken place, girls are dressed with skirts and boys are given their pants.
Children are forbidden from taking part in certain activities before the coming of age ceremony, and a child who dies before the ceremony will not receive the traditional funeral.
Females get their private bedrooms, and once past puberty, and they can invite their partners, this for the Walking marriages.
Published in: Family