IES: China






There are three kinds of marriage patterns among Mosuo people: Traditional Axia / Azhu System (Visiting marriage), Axia Cohabitation and Monogamy. Yuan (2000)[1]: “Typical marriage is uncommon among the Mosuo: They favor a visiting relationship between lovers. Around the age of 12, a girl is given a coming-of-age ceremony, and, following puberty, she is allowed to receive male visitors, who may stay overnight in her room but will return in the morning to their own mother's home and their primary duties”. The lovers are called "Female Azhu" and "male Azhu". Usually "Axia" has a special "Azhu" house to meet her lover. Her lover usually visits her during nighttime and leaves in the early morning. He is said to leave his shoes outside of the gate of the "Azhu House" to indicate that no other man should come.










Janssen, D. F., Growing Up Sexually. Volume I. World Reference Atlas. 0.2 ed. 2004. Berlin: Magnus Hirschfeld Archive for Sexology

Last revised: Sept 2004


[1] Yuan, Lu (2000) Land of the walking marriage, Natural History 109,9;58-65