Mosuo in China

Joshua Project has identified the Mosuo only in China





Largest Religion

Main Language


The Naxi, Mosuo, Pumi, and Lisu

Source:  Asia Harvest      Download

The Mosuo have been officially included as part of the Naxi nationality. The Mosuo deeply resent this and despise being called Naxi. The two groups have a different language, religion, and culture.


According to Mosuo legends, the ancestors of today's Naxi and Mosuo migrated down from the Tibetan Plateau about 1,000 years ago. Part of the group stopped at Lugu Lake and became today's Mosuo people, while the remainder continued south until they reached Lijiang where today they are the Naxi. After many centuries of separation, the two groups have developed major ethnolinguistic differences.


The Mosuo have a matriarchal and matrilineal society. The azhu system means all property and assets are transferred to the female side of the family, from mother to youngest daughter. Even the family name is passed down from the mother. Instead of taking a husband, Mosuo women are able to have "walk-in" relationships. Men are only allowed to visit their lovers at night. They must leave the woman's house early the next morning and return to their mother's home. If a child is born, the responsibility to raise the child is borne by the mother and her brothers. Often the identity of the father is not known at all. Despite pressure from the government to discontinue the azhu system, a 1994 study revealed 60% of the Mosuo still conform to this way of life.


Tibetan Buddhism has a strong grip on the Mosuo. Altars of white stones are piled in pyramid formations on every corner and outside most homes. "Because the Mosuo have no written language, shamans had to memorize the equivalent of 71 volumes of text and recited them word for word during funerals, births and other events. From the first utterance to the last, a master's recitation took up to 60 hours."


There had never been a known Mosuo believer until recently, when a Mosuo family came to Christ under quite extraordinary, supernatural circumstances. This family shared the gospel with their friends and neighbors, so that today there are about 20 Mosuo believers who meet together, of whom "five are strong Christians."

Profile Source:   Operation China, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2006-08-13
Global Prayer Digest: 2008-07-25
Global Prayer Digest: 2010-07-15
Global Prayer Digest: 2013-07-24
People Name General Mosuo (Mo-sor)
People Name in Country Mosuo
Population in China 56,000
World Population 56,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 3.1
Least-Reached No
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Hli-khin, Jang, Lushi, Mo-hsieh, Mosso, Moxie, Musu
Affinity Bloc Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster Tibeto-Burman, other
People Name General Mosuo (Mo-sor)
Ethnic Code MSY50i
People ID 18610
Country China
Region Northeast Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 29  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country A 1991 study numbered 40,000 Mosuo, living on both sides of the Sichuan-Yunnan border. The Mosuo are primarily concentrated around the shores of beautiful Lugu Lake. Lugu is one of the highest inhabited lake areas in China, at an altitude of 2,685 meters (8,800 ft.) above sea level. Lion Mountain, home to the goddess Gammo, the chief Mosuo deity, rises majestically over the northern shore. No roads led to the lake until 1982. Before that time the Mosuo area was only accessible by foot or on horseback. Still today the whole area is snowbound and cut off from the rest of the world for months at a time during winter..   Source:  Operation China, 2000
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Naxi: Mosuo (56,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Naxi: Mosuo 56,000
For Primary Language: Naxi

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1932)
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Religion Subdivision: Tibetan

Major Religion Percent
90.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 4.00 %)
5.00 %
Ethnic Religions
5.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
100.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Photo Source: Anonymous   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission
Map Source: Joshua Project / Global Mapping International  
Video Source: Asia Harvest
Profile Source: Operation China, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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