The Kingdom Of Daughters


The indigenous Khasi people is one of the world’s rare matrilineal societies which follows a maternal bloodline and honors ‘walking marriage’ a progressive form of matrimony where women can change and choose partners as they wish. In this society children will take their mother’s last name and female children are preferred over male. In a world dominated by male driven societies these types of traditions are quite fascinating.

Yet the ancient traditions of this minority ethnic group dwelling high in the Himalayas are becoming vulnerable to disappearing due to an influx of tourism and a decrease in population. The remote village bordering Bangladesh in India’s northeastern reason is attracting tourists from across the world to explore the village of Mawlynnong, the “Kingdom of Daughters’.

 “It is a conflict for many families.”

 “Life is easier when you benefit from tourism but they also feel really saddened by the changes.” -Karolin Klüppel

Berlin based photographer Karolin Klüppel has dedicated her recent work to projects exploring and honoring these complex social traditions and last matriarchal and matrilineal societies on earth. Moreover, researchers state that the 40,000 human population of Mosuo in the Lugu Lake region is decreasing as an increase of youth marry outside the society and move out of the region for work.

 “In Han Chinese society, status really depends on your job and women choose partners differently, love is second or third on the list,” says Klüppel. “For the Mosuo, it's only the heart and love and passion they feel, and if they don’t feel it any more they can stop the relationship and it's no big drama. The feeling of butterflies in the belly is more important than staying together.”