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Edit Title:[HugChina] Lugu Lake scenery and the Mosuo matriarchal society
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Bernd Chang
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Lugu Lake (泸沽湖) is located in the North West Yunnan plateau. The middle of the lake forms the border between Yunnan and Sichuan province. Lugu lake is attractive partly because of its natural beauty, but mostly because the Mosuo people who live there form a matriarchal society.

Lugu Lake (Chinese: 泸沽湖; Pinyin: Lúgū Hú) is located in the North West Yunnan plateau in the centre of Ningliang Yi Autonomous County in the People's Republic of China. The middle of the lake forms the border between the Ninglang County of Yunnan Province and the Yanqing County of Sichuan province. It is an alpine lake at an elevation of 2,685 metres (8,809 ft) and is the highest lake in the Yunnan Province. The lake is surrounded by mountains and has five islands, four peninsulas, fourteen bays and seventeen beaches.

Mystery and charm surround the lake, partly because it was once an unspoiled place and still retains much of its totally natural beauty, but mostly because the Mosuo people who live there form a matriarchal society. There is no marriage. Men stay in the women's home as mates called 'Axia' and the intimate relationship lasts as long as they like. Children are brought up by women, and use the surname of their mothers. Families are composed of the members of the matrilineal kin. Women operate production and management, and hold the principal position in the society, forming a modern day 'woman's kingdom', which adds mystique to this place.

The lake is encircled with hills. The water is clean and inviting, with fish swimming in it. The forest around is dense and the air is fresh. This is a place that is little tainted by modern industry - the natural beauty is retained. The weather is pleasant - it is cool in summer and warm in winter. All the seasons are as comfortable as spring, but the best seasons to come here are spring and summer when the hills are emerald green, the flowers are in bloom and the birds are singing happily.

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Mosuo people

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Luyawan

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Mosuo people

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Location of Lugu Lake and travelling map of Yunnan

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Lugu Lake lies 200 kilometers (approximately 124 miles) from the center of Lijiang City, on the border between Ninglang County in Yunnan Province and Yanyuan County in Sichuan Province. The lake is like a beautiful pearl shining among the hills of the northwest plateau in Yunnan.

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