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One of the many strong women we met in Luguhu, Yunnan. At 57 she still paddles boatfuls of tourists around the lake each day during the high season.

Lugu Lake is located on the Yunnan - Sichuan border on a plateau 2,700 meters above sea level.

Known as "The Kingdom of Women", it's a matriarchal society and make no mistake about it, the women run the show here.

Traditionally, Mosuo women did not marry in the conventional sense and all children (both men and women) would live in their mother's house for the whole of their lives.

When a girl reached the age of 13, she would go through a ceremony and receive "adult clothes". She would be given her own "flower room", start to meet boys and eventually would receive a "walking husband".

"Walking marriages" would last for as long as the "husband" continued to visit his "Asha" and as long as she continued to open the door for him when he came to her room. The "husband" could stay the night but had to return to his mother's house at dawn. If either tired of the other... on to another.

The old traditions are slowly fading away but in the more remote areas around the lake the matriarchal society continues. Women control the family money and all property passes through the female line.

Soon enough, civilization will also encroach upon the Mosuo, and the delicate matrilineal system by Lugu Lake will disappear. Now a bustling tourist destination, the lake is pressing forward, leaving tradition in its wake.

Part of a photo-documentary in progress...

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