Lugu Lake pagoda
Lugu Lake is home to the Mosuo ethnic minority of northwestern Yunnan province. It is a popular tourist destination for Chinese and foreign tourists.
The fireplace is the gathering place in Mosuo homes.
Mosuo women perform dances for tourists. Most young women today only wear traditional dress for tourist performances or special holidays.
Residents of Lige sit by the lake. in 2004 locals and the government battled over local land use, guesthouse development and stakes in the growing tourist industry.
Mosuo home courtyard
Mosuo society is matrilineal. Women traditionally live with their children, mothers and brothers in the maternal home, and arrange romantic visits with their lovers. Many couples today choose to marry, live and raise their children together in husband and wife households.
Mosuo women wash clothes in Lige village.
Many Yi women in the Lugu Lake region continue to wear traditional ethnic clothing in daily life.
an Yi woman carries a baby on her back on market day near Lige village.
Yi women visit at a market above Lige village. The sacred 'Mother Mountain' can be seen behind them.
Lugu Lake home
In 2004 this Mosuo woman was battling government-mandated demolition of the guest rooms she added to her home. She said the local government initially encouraged her to invest in tourism, and that she would lose all her life savings-plus loans- in the demolition.
Lugu Lake view
Lugu Lake is home to the Mosuo and Yi minorities, on the border between Yunnan and Sichuan provinces.
Lugu Lake sunrise
Mosuo people say Lugu Lake is filled with the tears of the Mother Mountain that rises behind it.
A Mosuo woman with her prayer beads
Wachan is a remote village in the mountains outside Dali city.
Wachan village bride
22 year-old A Wei has her hair done in preparation for her wedding day.
Villagers gather for wedding celebrations.
Dowry gifts are displayed in front of the bride's family home before the wedding procession.
Capturing the bride
According to strict tradition, the groom carries his bride on his back through the village from her parents' home to his family's home, where they will live. He first had to capture her from her bridal chambers by 'tricking' the bride's friends and family with bribes of candy and money to open the locked doors. The bride's sister protects her from the sun with a parasol.
wedding guests carry all dowry gifts- including a couch, television, dresser and bedding- on bamboo poles up the mountain to the groom's family home.
Wedding feast preparations
dishes include fried peanuts, pork with carrots, steamed buns, bitter squash and sticky rice.
Dishes are presented on trays with characters for 'double happiness'.
Dali fisherman mends his nets.
Children of market vendors play together while their mothers conduct business. Vendors often work 12 to 13 hour days.