The Mosuo are an ancient Buddhist tribe in Yunnan province, a valley in southwest China, near the eastern foothills of the Himalayas.

Mosuo people often have quick love affairs.

Mosuo women weave fabric in a shop in Lijiang, China.

Choo Waihong, a lawyer, quit her job in Singapore to travel around the world in 2006. After reading about the Mosuo, she decided to find the tribe, but instead just focusing on the beautiful villages

“I grew up in a world where men are in charge,” Waihong shared.

Within just a few days of living with the tribe, Waihong quickly discovered that the Mosuo children only lived with their grandmothers, mothers, aunts, and uncles.

In Mosuo, women own and inherit property and land, and raise and care for children.

The tribe of one-night stands in China

Choo Waihong with a Mosuo woman.

However, there have been changes since Chinese tourists flooded into Mosuo villages in the 1990s. They built roads, airports, built hotels, created jobs for Mosuo people, and destroyed the traditional way of life of the Mosuo people.

`Thanks to tourism, the Mosuo people’s thinking has become more open, but the girls always know that their grandmother and mother’s hands are protecting them every time they return to their homeland,` Waihong said.

Hai Thu