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The Mosuo Culture - Essay Example

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The Mosuo Culture

First of all, it is necessary to find out, whether Mosuo represent separate culture According to Triandis (1995) culture as a notion must have certain attributes and Mosuo can be called to be culture for having these attributes -place, separate geographical location and historical background. Therefore, the main aspects of Mosuo culture are norms, attitudes, rules, shared beliefs and behaviors - for this reason Mosuo is also supposed to be subjective culture. What is more important is that all the elements of such culture are transferred from generation to generation. (Triandis 1995)
The Chinese government considers the Mosuo to be the members of the Naxi minority. It is possible to say, that Mosuo possess the common territory with the Naxi, but they have different language, cultural aspects and economic situation and rules. The reason for such conjunction of Mosuo and Naxi is due to the deep gap in knowledge about Mosuo. Only recently the historians and authors have come to understanding that Mosuo are absolutely different from Naxi - through their culture, religion and language. The cultures of Naxi and Mosuo may be compared only in terms of them occupying common territory for residence and for better understanding the differences between these two minorities - looking for similarities between the two nationalities make become time wasting. Certain theories state, that Mosuo native language is "eastern dialect" or "dongbu fangyan". The Mosuo culture is thoroughly described by the scholar Lamu Gatusa. (Mackerras 2003) From Triandis (1995) it becomes clear, that Mosuo belong to collectivist economy, because Mosuo society consists of individuals (residents) considering themselves a as part of a big collective i.e. family; the links between separate individuals are very strong, which makes it possible to assume that there is hardly any tint of individualism in Mosuo culture. Mosuo are absolutely motivated by imposed duties and norms. They consider collective priority to be more important, than personal goals and achievements. Mosuo strongly emphasize connections with other community members (I guess it is better to use the word community, than the word 'tribe', as still Mosuo appear to live in an organized manner with strong traditions and values). Although their collectivism is considered vertical for the reason of men having lower status in society, nobody feels oppression; Mosuo culture tends to collectivism in its fundamental conviction that people are bounded into tied groups through common interests and goals. (Triandis 1995) Mosuo culture consists of in-groups and out-groups. In-groups are the representatives of a certain family, characterized by similarities and ability to cooperate without demanding equal returns and without leaving family as it may lead to anxiety among other members. However, friends and collective may be also included into the in-group. Each member of Mosuo in-groups can simply be excluded for mistreatment of someone, insult or similar acts. It is necessary also to note, that Mosuo culture sees itself as "links in a long chain" consisting of descendants and ancestors. (Triandis 1995)
As it is seen, the word 'link' is the core aspect of the Mosuo life; they value any kind of links - either those ...Show more


The Mosuo is only one of the fifty-six official ethnic minorities living in China. The Mosuo live in the Sichuan and Yunnan provinces, situated not far from Tibet Mountains. It is known that Mosuo culture is still considered to be matriarchal; they live according to the principle that women play more important role in society and hierarchical system than men do…
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The Mosuo Culture essay example
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