High above the mountains in South Western China, where Yunnan and Sichuan (of panda fame) border each other, lies the seldom-visited Lugu Lake. Along its banks, we find the Mosuo people who have continuously practiced the matriarchal systems for centuries. Whether out of volition, or of necessity, the Mosuo women have taken on leader ship in their society for the past two thousand years.

In the Mosuo households, the eldest female dominates every aspect of the daily lives and are the principal, if not the sole providers for each household. Like the hearth, which is the center of Mosuo lives, the women are the center of Mosuo society.

There are matrilineal societies in India and Africa but those societies have marriage. In the Mosuo society there is no marriage. In their custom, the man visits the woman in the night. It’s the only society that does that now.' Known as “Axia”. Loosely translated as ‘the Walking Marriage’. Axia is the term the Mosuo use to when the highly precarious form of union between Mosuo women and their men. In the Mosuo’s dialect there is no word for husband or father.

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