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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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Marriage: The Secondary Pattern of Institutionalized Sexual Union

Marriage: The Secondary Pattern of Institutionalized Sexual Union

(p.101) 4. Marriage: The Secondary Pattern of Institutionalized Sexual Union
Quest for Harmony
Stanford University Press

This chapter examines marriage as the secondary pattern of institutionalized sexual union among the Moso. By any useful definition in anthropology, the discussion argues that tisese cannot be taken as a form of marriage because it lacks the legal force to grant the involved parties understood claims and to bind them with understood obligations. It notes that marriage entered Yongning in the thirteenth century when an officer of Pumi ethnic origin in the Mongol troops was appointed chief in Yongning, and that marriage was not institutionalized among the Moso until the seventeenth century during the empire-building process of the Qing Dynasty. This chapter concludes that the different practices in institutionalized sexual union between the Yongning basin and mountainous areas are the result of natural environmental conditions rather than cultural contact.

Keywords:   sexual union, marriage, anthropology, Yongning basin

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