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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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The Moso Social Organization

The Moso Social Organization

The Domestic Group and the Descent Group

(p.149) 6 The Moso Social Organization
Quest for Harmony
Stanford University Press

This chapter discusses the Moso social organization. With ethnographic and linguistic analyses, it first rejects the tripartite structure of Moso kinship organization as suggested by Chinese ethnologists. It further points out that yidu, the Moso household, cannot be properly understood as a level of kinship organization because its membership is fluid and changeable and does not necessarily coincide with kinship relationship. Finally, this chapter concludes that yidu is the domestic group in which people organize and share their daily life, and sizi, the Moso descent group, is the kinship organization in which people perform their shared duties of taking care of deceased ancestors.

Keywords:   Moso descent group, yidu, kinship organization, Chinese ethnologists, Moso household

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