Each large household is ruled by an ah mi – the matriarch and property and lineage are passed down through the female line.
Typically women take care of business and men take care of the animals.
Children belong to their mothers; indeed babies often do not know who their father is – for which there is no stigma.
This is partly down to what is known as ‘walking marriage’ – Mosuo men stay with their mothers and at night women choose a partner by walking to his home.
Couples traditionally did not live together; in fact the language has no word for ‘husband’ or ‘father’.
The women take lovers from various tribes – enjoying relatively unique sexual agency and freedom from judgement.