Preferential Bilateral-Cross-Cousin Marriage among the Nuosu in Liangshan

Lu Hui

in Perspectives on the Yi of Southwest China

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2001 | ISBN: 9780520219885
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520935259 | DOI:
Preferential Bilateral-Cross-Cousin Marriage among the Nuosu in Liangshan

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This chapter discusses considerations of marital alliance in more detail. Beginning with the paradoxical observation that bilateral cross-cousin marriage is the Nuosu ideal, but that one-sided matrilateral unions are more common than patrilateral unions and that true bilateral unions are quite rare, it discusses the strategies of alliance that motivate parents and local clan elders to marry their children into one clan or another. This places the Nuosu social structure into the comparative framework of kinship alliance that has driven so much Western anthropological writing about mainland southeast Asia since Edmund Leach (1954).

Keywords: marital alliance; cross-cousin marriage; bilateral unions; Nuosu social structure

Chapter.  5242 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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