tradition are highly controversial, including the ‘walking marriage’ or Axia marriage, the matriarchal family structure, the religion, and the interaction of the minority group with the outside world (PR China). This article seeks to address the controversial issues concerning the minority group, with verification of the facts from five interviewees from the community (appendix 1).
A typical Mosuo family consists of ten family members, though the size varies and some may consist of between 20 and 30 members. Nonetheless, a female leads each family. In essence, the family head is the most proficient female in the house and all other members of the family respect her. She has important responsibilities and honorary status because all other members of the family depend on her decisions on family matters. Lugu Lake is the home for the Mosou community, which has about 35,000 to 50,000 members. The community enjoys plenty of space and building material for building, thus each family poses its own courtyard, with the number of rooms in each courtyard dependent on the size of the family. However, one room stands out: the grandmother’s quarters. The Mosuo family uses this room to offer sacrifices to ancestors, receptions, dining, and discuss family matters. However, the room has a dark atmosphere and low ceiling, creating a sense of intimacy with the only source of light coming from the flames in the coal-stove chambers. Here rests a stone representing the entire ancestry of the family (Vogt).
Mosuo tradition holds that the stone carries the souls of the past generations, and thus the fire must remain lit throughout the year to keep the ancestor warm. In some families, the grandmother’s room may contain a big chink of meat that symbolizes the wealth of the family. The Mosou preserve the meat of slaughtered animals using salt and ash, then stitch up the skin and keep it dry in a shady and clean place. Such preserved meat usually lasts for over three years before