Maybe being powerful means to be fragile. ~ Ai Weiwei

RIP Liu Xiaobo (1955-2017)

A Tibetan villager sits in front of a poster of Mao Zedong’s portrait taped to a wall in his home over Losar, the Tibetan New Year, in Yubeng village, northwest Yunnan province. Like other Native residents, the man and his brother pictured here, share the same wife, an ethnic Lisu woman from another village, with whom they have two children. Although children may share characteristics or physical features that resemble one brother or another, they don’t actually know who their biological father is. From an economic perspective, polyandry, like other ‘cultural traditions’, served a practical purpose in eastern ‘ethnographic Tibet’, where arable land and other resources were scarce. It was a risk aversion or survival strategy so families could concentrate their limited assets and accumulate more material wealth rather than having to divvy it up amongst brothers, possibly subjecting the entire family to greater poverty and vulnerability. However, polyandry could also expose family members to increased disease vectors.