Namu: poster girl of the matriarchal Mosuo

This is singer, dancer, writer and socialite Namu. She's on the cover of the magazine supplement of the South China Morning Post (Sunday January 18, 2004).


Namu, aka Yang Erche Namu, is the poster girl of the matriarchal Mosuo people. The Mosuo practice interesting customs on the shores of Lugu Lake, which is in a mountainous area of Yunnan that the Yunnan Tourist Board would like you to think of as 'Shangri-La'.

Mini-bio of Namu: Mosuo girl goes to Shanghai as dancer and pop singer, gets famous, writes books, dates diplomats, writes more books, lives in California, Switzerland and Beijing, writes more books (with many full color photos), endorses property developments in Beijing etc.

The Post article by Joshua Samuel Brown conveys the romantic flavor a little more convincingly:

"She left home two decades ago, [on a journey] involving four days on foot and almost a week in hardclass train carriages... Then she was a 13-year-old running away from a small village in which she felt trapped, and from a mother from whom she was estranged. Few in her tribe expected her to survive. To her people, the world beyond their mountainous home was largely unknown and incomprehensibly vast. Not only did she survive, she thrived, making her way to Shanghai, where a combination of luck and talent secured her a place at the prestigious Conservatory of Music, where she was the school’s first Mosuo student."

PDFs of the whole article are available on Josh's site, here.

China Media Timeline
Major media events over the last three decades
Danwei Model Workers
The latest recommended blogs and new media
From 2008
Front Page of the Day
A different newspaper every weekday
From the Vault
Classic Danwei posts
+ Culture and corporate propaganda in Soho Xiaobao (2007.11): Mid-2007 issues of Soho Xiaobao (SOHO小报), illustrating the complicated identity of in-house magazines run by real estate companies.
+ Internet executives complain about excessive Net censorship (2010.03): Internet executives complain about excessive Net censorship at an officially sanctioned meeting in Shenzhen.
+ Crowd-sourced cheating on the 2010 gaokao (2010.06): A student in Sichuan seeks help with the ancient Chinese section of this year's college entrance exam -- while the test is going on!
Danwei Archives