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Lugu Lake

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Lugu Lake Introduction

Lugu Lake, located in the southwest of Sichuan Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, about 230km away from Xichang City and about 200km away from Lijiang of Yunnan, is the boundary lake between Sichuan and Yunnan, two thirds of which belong to Sichuan Province. It is well known throughout the world for its beautiful natural scenery and attractive matriarchal society culture. In Mosuo language of the Naxi nationality, “Lu” means “valley”, while “Gu” means “in”, for which Lugu Lake means “lake in valley”. Lugu Lake covers an area of over 50 square km at an elevation of 2690m, with the average water depth of 45m and transparency up to 11m. It has clear and blue water, and is the largest freshwater lake in Sichuan, having long been known as “Plateau Pearl”.

Lugu Lake

Lugu Lake has a quite graceful natural shape - half-moon shape, praised as “Blue Moon of Shangri-La”. There are five islands in different shapes with lush forests on the lake; the mirror-like water seems to melt into the sky; and the small boats slowly gliding over the blue lake and the folk songs wafting over the water and in the sky add a bit of primitive simplicity and tranquility to this beautiful lake. With its green rippling waves and attractive scenery, Lugu Lake is like a bright pearl inlayed in the embrace of mountains. In the northwest of the lake, the magnificent Gemu Mountain stands tall and uprights, while in the southeast there are rich pastures, thriving herds and thick reeds in the shallow sea blowing in the wind. Every winter, tens of thousands rare migratory birds such as swans and black-necked cranes, etc inhabit here, which shows a kind of vitality and a unique view. The thick virgin forest in the distance is haunted by deer, blue sheep and hares, which provides us a kind of wild fun. The lakeside, vast land, wood houses, spiraling smoke from kitchens, pastoral songs, sparkling lights from fishing boats, and people getting up for work at sunrise and returning for rest at sunset present us a “Peach Blossom Spring”, which may make people too delighted to leave.

Lugu Lake

There are 7 nationalities, such as Mosuo, Han, Naxi and Zang, etc, living along the banks of Lugu Lake, about 13 thousand people, among which there are about 6000 Mosuo people (over 5000 people on the banks of Sichuan Lugu Lake). Among the 56 nationalities of China, there is no “Mosuo nationality”. After 1949, the government department identified the Mosuo people living on the banks of Yunnan Lugu Lake as the Naxi nationality and those on the banks of Sichuan Lugu Lake as the Mongol nationality in the first nationality identification event. Mosuo people believe in Tibetan Buddhism, and have their own mother language-Mosuo language but have no characters of their own. They live on the banks of Lugu Lake for generations, and still preserve the female-headed matriarchal system up to now, with unique marriages and customs. All the households are female headed, and family members belong to matrilineage.  

Lugu Lake

Lugu Lake integrates its natural landscape and human landscape as a whole, and especially has unique and rich connotations due to the culture and national customs which are peculiar to Mosuo people.

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