Chinese Himalayan tribe dads look after sisters’ kids instead of their own

June 20th, 2009 - 4:44 pm ICT by ANI  

National Geographic Washington, June 20 (ANI): From the time humans came to being, males have been dubbed “bread-winners”. Even in today’s times, a man is expected to look after the family and make decisions concerning financial matters. However, in the case of the Mosuo culture of the Chinese Himalaya, things are a bit different.

Men of the Mosuo do help to raise kids-just not their own. They help look after all the children born to their own sisters, aunts, and other women of the family.

Rather than “one father with a kid, it will be four or five uncles. That [father] role is shared among a number of people, and these are very large extended families,” explained John Lombard, director of the Lugu Lake Mosuo Cultural Development Association.

Lombard said: “If you [father] a child with another woman, you can never be absolutely sure that the child really shares your genes. But if your sister has a child, you can be 100 percent sure that the kid shares some of your genes.”

As far as women are concerned, they avoid marriage and raise their kids in homes with their entire extended families-but no dads, reports National Geographic News.

“They are a society that we know hasn’t had marriage for a thousand years, and they’ve been able to raise kids successfully,” said Stephanie Coontz, family studies professor at the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington.

And women’s job is not just restricted to looking after kids, they head the households, make business decisions, and own property, which they pass on to their matrilineal heirs.

Shockingly, the Mosuo culture follows the tradition called the walking marriage - women invite men to visit their rooms at night-and to leave in the morning.

Women may also change partners as often as they like, and promiscuity carries no social stigma. (ANI)

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