Lugu Lake - Cradle of the Yongning Mosuo tribe

In the sublime Xiaoliangshan Mountains of Yongning District of the Ninglang Yi Autonomous County is inlaid a shimmering pearl - Lugu Lake. It is the native place of "The Females' Kingdom" composed of the Mosuo people, a branch of the Naxi nationality. "Lugu" means "falling into the water" in the Mosuo language (“Hu” Means Lake in Chinese), hence the name of the lake.

Luguhu Lake is located between Yunnan's Ninglang County and Sichuan's Yanyuan County, with a total area of 77,700-odd mu, the space within the precincts of Yunnan being 41,400 mu. It is 2,685 m. above sea level, counting from the surface of the water, and is therefore the lake with the highest altitude in the province. Its average depth of water is 40 m., the greatest depth being 90 m. Among Yunnan's lakes it stands only second to Fuxianhu Lake in terms of depth of water. The water of the lake is generally clean and green, with different shades of color: now turquoise blue, now sapphire blue, now white-gray, simply beyond one's imagination. On the lake are the "pig-trough boats" ("Zhucao Chuan") specific to the place. Teeming in the lake are fine-scaled fish, carps and other species. The lake waters flow eastwards to the Yalong River and finally into the surging Jingshajiang River.

Luguhu Lake is surrounded by high and sublime mountains and is snowbound for over 3 months. Since the lake is rather deep, a definite regulating influence is exerted on the temperature of the lake shores. Therefore the surrounding mountains abound in forest resources which afford an exquisite beauty, much fresh air and charming scenery. At present it is one of the places in China which is least damaged by human efforts and best preserved in its natural features.

Last Kingdom of Ladies

In Western culture, the Garden of Eden is the home of love for Adam and Eve. But the home is gone, and can only be envied by us mortals now in imaginations. However, another Garden of Eden does exist nearby, the one so close to us in the Northwest of Lijiang. She has another name----the Lugu Lake. Many blue brooks from the surrounding valleys flow into the lake so that she would never dry up. Reflecting the blue sky on her face, the blue lake is embraced by the blue sky on her face, the blue lake is embraced by the blue range of mountains where the fir and the dragon spruce grow in turquoise blue, azaleas in peacock blue flourish in the open land the broad bean plants in cast fields have blossomed in light blue. Look at those Mosuo girls! They are seeking their romantic love in such romantic blue. The blue gives them happiness, beauty, and lovely appearance and spirit.

The Mosuo people living on the lakeshore have unique living habits, clothing, and housing and marriage customs. to this day, they have preserved the customs of matriarchal society. Men and women live in their mothers' homes even after they get married, and the couples can break their marriage at will. In a clan, the elderly women are the most respected, w ho preside over family affairs. The Mosuo people are called a "unique matriarchal kingdom."

The Mosuo people are not formally recognized as an independent ethnic group. They are actually one of the Naxi branches. The differences between them and other Naxis are just caused by different locations and environment.

Mosuo people believe that humans are children of the Goddess in the heaven. Thus, woman is regarded as the source of life and incarnation of wisdom and industriousness. It is no wonder that Mosuo people love their mother so deeply. On this mysterious land, the Goddess Mountain, Mother Lake and women make up an Eden for the Mosuo. The Gemu goddess that Mosuo people believe in is not the kind of goddess that sits on a high throne but one who loves riding a horse and walking in the villages. At nights, she will lead a visiting-marriage life the same as the other women. In songs of Mosuo, there is always an image of mother. Mother is an ever-lasting topic that is praised and chanted. Mosuo mothers irrigate this wonderful land with their sweat and guard this mythology with their wisdom.

Along with the growth of Chinese flowering crabapple trees, the Mosuo society has experienced thousands of year's changes and development. When night falls, a young man rides a horse to his lover's window, singing to inform her of his arrival. They stay happily together the whole night. Early in the morning next day, the young man leaves with the horse and goes back to his mother's house. This is a traditional way to confirm the united relation between two lovers. The custom is called "Zouhun" or Visiting Marriage or Axia Marriage ("Axia"in Mosuo language is used as the common name of young men). The couple does not officially get married. Their conjugality is just built on mutual affection. Therefore, it is love rather than economic demands that really matters to their special relationship. The Axia Marriage is the only living heritage of matriarchal society of the humankind.

Every Mosuo girl has a "Grown-up Ceremony" at the age of thirteen. It is like baptism. On the day, mothers will dress their daughters in "Hundred-gauffered Skirt" with their own hands, symbolizing that the girls have grown up and from the day on, they can peruse the love that they want.


Fees: CNY 78 for Entrance Charge
CNY 30 for Boat to Liwubi Island
CNY 30 for Boat to Tusi Island
CNY 10 for Admiring the Party
CNY 15 for Visiting a Local Family