The Mosuo tribe in China’s Yunnan Province is known as the ‘Kingdom of Women’. It is one of the last matrilineal and matriarchal societies on Earth.
Each family is led by the grandmother. Women make all major decisions in the community and carry the bloodline, while men simply provide children and may come and go.
What’s life like when women are in charge? Kim Chakanetsa talks to two women who’ve formed close ties with matriarchal communities in China and India, and who’ve gone onto document their experiences.
Choo Waihong is a former high-flying lawyer from Singapore who quit her job to move to a remote part of China to live with the Mosuo tribe. This is one of the last matrilineal and matriarchal societies on earth. That means that the family descends from the female bloodline, and that women also hold the ultimate power in the community. Waihong ended up building a house among the Mosuo, and has written a book about her experiences called ‘Kingdom of Women.’
Karolin Klüppel is a German photographer who travelled to the remote north-east of India to get to know the Khasi people, who live in families where women inherit property, and children take the mother’s name. Karolin was struck by the self-confidence of the young girls, and she set about making portraits of the children, which form part of her photo series, ‘Mädchenland’ or ‘Kingdom of Girls.’
Another great story in The Guardian: Is China’s Mosuo tribe the world’s last matriarchy?. Read more about women from the Mosuo tribe do not marry, take as many lovers as they wish and have no word for “father” or “husband”. But the arrival of tourism and the sex industry is changing their culture.