Event Title

The Spectrum of Authenticity and Visual Culture of the Mosuo Identity in the Challenge of a Tourism Driven Economy

Mentor 1

Ying Wang

Location

Union 179

Start Date

24-4-2015 9:40 AM

Description

In southwestern China exists the land ‘South of the Clouds’: Yunnan Province. With over 20 reported populations of ethnic minorities, Yunnan has become the subject of many years of cross-cultural studies due to its diversity. One such ethnic minority is known as the Mosuo (Na) people. Primarily residing in villages surrounding Lugu Lake, this minority’s unique quasi-matriarchal family order and ‘walking-marriage’ system exist as a distinctive example of contrast of cultural identity to Han common culture. Due to globalization’s pervasion and the fiscal flow from a tourism driven economy, one sees this culture adapting through performative and preservative actions. The response of the shifting cultural identities of this ethnic group to the flux of global contemporaneity pushes itself to the forefront of studies that deal with tradition, ritual, and ethnicity. Through reading, collecting, and formulating several dossier on the subject, it became imperative to the study for further primary information to be attained. This pressed the need to travel to the location of Lugu Lake and its surrounding villages, where several interviews were held with the local Mosuo population as well as the tourists who bring in the flow of outside culture. Because of the preliminary research and the newly collected information, one sees the shift of the Mosuo identity being accelerated. Mosuo culture is one that is teetering on its own borderline between changing with the contemporary world and enacting multiple levels of cultural preservation. In studies of cultures born from diversity, one connects back and reflects through this case study.

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Apr 24th, 9:40 AM

The Spectrum of Authenticity and Visual Culture of the Mosuo Identity in the Challenge of a Tourism Driven Economy

Union 179

In southwestern China exists the land ‘South of the Clouds’: Yunnan Province. With over 20 reported populations of ethnic minorities, Yunnan has become the subject of many years of cross-cultural studies due to its diversity. One such ethnic minority is known as the Mosuo (Na) people. Primarily residing in villages surrounding Lugu Lake, this minority’s unique quasi-matriarchal family order and ‘walking-marriage’ system exist as a distinctive example of contrast of cultural identity to Han common culture. Due to globalization’s pervasion and the fiscal flow from a tourism driven economy, one sees this culture adapting through performative and preservative actions. The response of the shifting cultural identities of this ethnic group to the flux of global contemporaneity pushes itself to the forefront of studies that deal with tradition, ritual, and ethnicity. Through reading, collecting, and formulating several dossier on the subject, it became imperative to the study for further primary information to be attained. This pressed the need to travel to the location of Lugu Lake and its surrounding villages, where several interviews were held with the local Mosuo population as well as the tourists who bring in the flow of outside culture. Because of the preliminary research and the newly collected information, one sees the shift of the Mosuo identity being accelerated. Mosuo culture is one that is teetering on its own borderline between changing with the contemporary world and enacting multiple levels of cultural preservation. In studies of cultures born from diversity, one connects back and reflects through this case study.