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Daba religion

As mentioned previously, the Daba religion is in many ways the “heart” of Mosuo culture.   Although the Mosuo actually practice two religions, Daba contains the majority of their historical and cultural heritage.

There are several challenges in this regard. First, the Daba priests (who are also called Daba) are required to memorize a long, detailed oral history which really encapsulates most of the Mosuo history and culture; however, due to past policies that restricted training new Daba priests, most of the remaining priests are old, and many will die soon. Without a younger generation to learn this oral tradition, and without written records of it, this means that huge portions of Mosuo history and culture could be lost forever.

Today, many of the restrictions on becoming a Daba priest have been lifted, so one of our goals is to provide support and encouragement for younger Mosuo who seek to become Daba priests. In this way, the tradition can be continued into future generations.

We also seek, through our Mosuo Language Project, to create a written form of the Mosuo language which we could then use to create written records, in their own language, of all the oral traditions that the Daba priests have memorized.

These projects are, by their nature, very long-term. But we believe that they are also very important and worthwhile.


© 2006 Lugu Lake Mosuo Cultural Development Association

photos taken by Danny Gawlowski and Josie Liming