Working inspiration: What can you learn from the Musuo Tribe?
The female led Tribe challenging our structural notions
But first...who are the Musuo Tribe?
The Mosuo Tribe is a community of people who live in the Chinese Provinces of Yunnan & Sichuan near the Lugu Lake. Surrounded by monumental mountains and incredible natural beauty, the mighty Musuo have lived in villages hours away from contact for centuries which can often explain the preseration of their rare way of life.
What makes the Musuo Tribe so special?
The most special and recognizable thing about the Musuo Tribe can be explained by their famous nickname 'Kingdom of Women' due to the massive influence women have in the community.
1. Women in leadership.
Firstly, their society is female led which is a rare thing even in this day and age. Women hold huge influence over property, parenting and the purse strings for the household. It's by no means a matriarchal society, but it is a Matrilineal society, with property and family names being passed from mother to daughter. National Geographic highlights the “walking marriage” system as the most unique aspect of their culture, with tradition ensuring that “the Mosuo women’s partners only visit them at night, and these partners have very little to do with their children’s upbringing”. What can you learn from this? Well it shouldn't take a female led Tribe for you to know that women shouldn't be underestimated or stereotyped. Outdated structural notions need challenged, and maybe this Tribe can help all of us create a fairer more representative society for everyone.
2. Respect your elders!
The more elderly amongst the Musuo hold the key to customs, traditions and a way of life. We always have something to learn from the older amongst us, and often they have a way of changing perceptions to focus on issues more important than the frantic tech-driven modernity we are often caught up in. Mosuo matriarchs, known as the Dabu are well aware of the threats to their society. From increased contact with the outside world, existential threats and general commodification of their culture. The prosperity of this rare tribe depends on the older residents, and thus are respected and valued accordingly.
3. Love over status.
According to photographer Karolin Klüppel, status for the Han Chinese can be predominantly dictated by job and income, meaning women choose partners with love often being an afterthought. Alternatively, the Mosuo, focus solely on strength of feeling. It's important to note that when Musuo women feel the spark is gone, they can instantly end the relationship without issue or drama. Prioritizing your gut feeling is imperative, and we would always advise going for the person, office, job or meal you love over trivial alternatives.
Why do we know so much about the Nenets Tribe?
Just take a look at Tribes Amsterdam Raamplein, an entire building solely inspired by the Kingdom of Women! From flexible office spaces to inspiring coworking spaces, portraits of the mighty Musuo adorn each wall to keep both staff and members motivated each and every day.