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Quest for HarmonyThe Moso Traditions of Sexual Union and Family Life.$
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Chuan-kang Shih

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780804761994

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804761994.001.0001

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(p.261) Conclusion
Quest for Harmony
Stanford University Press

This chapter sums up the main points of the study and offers an explanation for the existence of certain Moso practices—the sui generis tisese, the grand matrilineal household, and their highly unusual gender system. It argues that the Moso firmly believed in their matrilineal ideology and placed household harmony above all other values. It notes that the unique grand household among the Moso is a logical extension of their matrilineal ideology. However, sexual reproduction, together with the threat of inbreeding, poses a serious challenge to household harmony in any human society. That is why the Moso choose to exclude in-laws from their household to maintain harmony. Meanwhile, the features of tisese render any useful definition of marriage inapplicable. As the world enters the twenty-first century, the significance of the Moso as a case disproving the universality of marriage and the nuclear family has become less important.

Keywords:   Moso sexual relations, matrilineal household, tisese, matrilineal ideology, household harmony

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