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Συντάχθηκε απο τον/την Χρήστος Μπούμπουλης (Christos Boumpoulis)   
Παρασκευή, 21 Νοέμβριος 2014 03:00

Tibetan Nomad Song - Kyidjam


Tibetan Nomad - The Highest Nomadic Tribes on Our Planet


It is believed that Tibetans derive from Qiang People, the nomads in ancient China. It is the intermarriage between Qiang People and local tribes that leads to the existence of Tibetans. Due to the severe environment, extreme altitude and inconvenient transportation, etc. Tibetans have long relied on pastoralism for survival. As a result, traditionally Tibetans are well-known for being sturdy nomads, an ethnic group that live side by side with livestock and nature. Though no one can tell the exact number of existent nomads in Tibet, an estimated around 2 million including nomads and semi-nomads couldn’t go too wrong.

Tibetan Nomad People

Tibetan Nomads herd hundreds of cattle on the grassland. They live in a tent and keep moving for better grass for their livesstock.


Harsh Environment and Tibetan Nomads

"Perhaps what truly sets Tibetan nomads apart from other nomads in this world is the extreme altitude and unpredictable weather. "

If living in central Tibet is rather cozy, the life in the wild northern Tibet is a completely different picture. TakeNagchu for example, with an average altitude of above 4500m, the climate is so severe that not only is oxygen content less than half that of the sea level and the annual average temperature is below zero Celsius, and the lowest temperature ever recorded reaches minus 42 degree. To make it even worse, the fragile ecosystem is plagued with sporadic natural disasters, like hail, heavy snowfall, steppe degradation, etc.

Yet, no only do ingenious Tibetan nomads find a way to survive, but prosper on this inhospitable snow land. In fact, the false stereotypes that picture Tibetan nomads as merely robust, barbarian, and hostile are groundless. Born in this inhospitable highland, Tibetan nomads at a young age learn to acquire the extraordinary ability of foreseeing the unpredictable weather.

In addition to the unyielding spirits, Tibetan nomads are born with an optimistic and friendly mind.

Tourists will be surprised to find how generous and hospitable Tibetan nomads are when chatting alongside with them and drinking yak butter tea in their tent made of yak hair.

Harsh Enviroment of Tibet

Their nomadic season is very short and they have to comfront with the harsh environment in winter when food supply is limited. Nowadays, some of them have their house in towns and kids are better educated.

Tibetan Nomad Life and Livestock

One of the striking characteristics of Tibetan nomads is the harmonious relationship between nomads to nomads, nomads to livestock, and nomads to nature.

As the resources for human survival is extremely limited, Tibetan nomads are experts at making full use of all the available materials for existence. In this respect, yaks play an indispensable role in maintaining nomads’ daily necessities. Male nomads spin yak wool, yak hair and braid ropes and slingshots while women weave wool into fabric for tents, blankets, bags and clothing.

The role of female nomads is fairly important in a nomad family and surprisingly they share one thing in common, i.e. they are exceedingly versatile and hard-working. A typical day for female nomads begins with milking yaks or sheep. They would venture out and do the chores no matter how terrible the weather is outside the tent. Then, they would use milk to make yogurt, yak butter tea and yak cheese. Next, women nomads are expected to grind barley, fetch and boil water, weave sheep wool. As there are no trees in the nomadic regions of Tibet so the main fuel has to be relied on dried yak dung. Every morning, the women collect and spread yak dung out to be dried and later use it to make a fire in the tent. To keep tent warm and cozy is one of the important parcels of women’s duty.

Even the little kids take the responsibility for herding livestock. To feed to livestock, kids need to stay in the wilderness for 8 hours or so, without any shield from harsh wind and chilly rain. Whereas the male nomads who seem to be less busy in most of the time shoulder the task of travelling outside. They are in charge of buying salt, and stock hay for livestock in winter and in some cases herd livestock to town to trade it for grain and other necessities. Though the life is far from perfect, Tibetan nomads manage to sustain themselves with their hard work and wisdom and live in harmony with nature.

Yaks are the main livestock of Tibetan nomad, Usually, family hosts dozens of yaks and some hosts up to more than 100.

Tibetan Nomad Mastiff

Another indispensable companion that could not afford not to mention in Tibetan Nomad’s daily life isTibetan Nomad Mastiff. Brave, fierce, and exceedingly loyal to the owner, Tibetan mastiffs have superb memory that allows them to identify hundreds of yaks, and thousands of sheep. Tibetan mastiffs can assist nomads in herding livestock, defending nomads’ property and even protecting them from wolves and other danger.

A lovely Tibetan Nomad Mastiff is playing with an adorable Tibetan girl on the prairie.

Normally, Tibetan nomads bring the 2-month-old cub of Tibetan mastiff home and live with them together. As time goes by ,the friendship and alliance take root between mastiffs and nomads. For those who see the Tibetan mastiffs for the first time, especially unknown tourists, it is advisable to stay away and be nice to them. Otherwise, if a Tibetan mastiff labels an outsider as a threat or an enemy, its attack could be imminent and deadly.

Visit a Tibetan Nomad Tent

A typical nomad family is often furnished in the following way: a stove is placed in the center of a tent. In the back center of nomad tents, there is usually a small alter with Buddhist scripture, incense, a few pictures of well known rinpoche's and a few butter candles. Nomads can be heard chanting mantra's throughout the day. Usually Inside the tent is a small pile of dried yak dung for fuel.

The genuine Tibetan nomads often live and herd the livestock in places with little human presence. Rarely do tourists have a chance to stop by their tents. If they do, a few things are needed to be taken care of.When visiting a Tibetan Nomadic Tent, tourists shall do as host nomads say and not place your feet towards the stove which is believed to be sacred by nomads. Besides, never try to fidget with Buddhist alter and its ornaments. As nomads are so hospitable, they will keep refilling your cup if you finish the barley wine or yak butter tea. It is acceptable to gently remind the host that one can’t drink any more.


Traditional Nomad Tent

Tibetan nomads are having lunch in a typical nomadic tent made by yak hair.

Inside the tent

Usually Tibetan nomads's tents are shabby because they move from places to places with their cattle.(inside a Tibetan nomad's tent)

See More at: Tibetan Nomads Photos


Tibetan Nomads Tour - Meet nomads on the Trekking Path


The Nomadic Season (or grazing season) usually starts in April when Tibetan Nomads herd hundreds of cattle up to the hill for grazing. Nomads still do butter products as they want and they exchange things like butter for barley with farmers. Though nomads travel from place to place, they are used to staying at a place rich in grass for days to feed their cattle and then they shift to another place near to streams or even a better pasture. Most of them might stay in a specific place for a month. Those nomads who are staying at a lower altitude would stay at a place for the whole year because of rich grazing resource at lower altitude.

From April to early October, according to the grassland location and weather, tourist can meet lots of nomads while travelling but if you trek in Tibet, you will have a face-to-face communication with them and understand better about their simple and relaxing life.


During nomadic season, tourists can meet Tibetan nomads while Trekking in Tibet


1. Tsurphu Monastery to Yangpachen Trek Routes near Lhasa (4300m) .

The reincarnation system of Tibetan Lamas originated from Tsurphu Monastery. The ascent of Lasaya pass which is 5300m above the sea level allows tourists to have a better panoramic view of Nyenchen Tanglha Mountains. As tourists trek across the Changtang prairie, they will see many wildlife, unlimited grassland and will be invited to Tibetan nomad’s house and chat with nomads. Later, trekkers can fresh themselves with hot spring in Yangbajain hot springs resort.


2. Ganden Monastery to Samye Monastery (4240m) - (3600m)

The route that bridges Ganden Monastery and Samye Monastery is widely known as a road of pilgrimage. This trek route goes cross the grand valley and the highland wetlands, where tourists can meet nomads and their cattles. The best trekking season starts from late April to the end of October. Though rainy season comes from middle June to first half of September, it is the time when wild flowers display its full beauty in full blossom.


3. Lake Manasarovar Kora

The sacred lake Manasarovar measures 90 kilometers and it normally takes about 4 days to circuit the lake in a clockwise manner. Two thirds of the trek (starting from Seralung monastery to ChiuGonpa) will be close to the banks of Manasarovar. Tourists can enjoy the superb lake scenery while enjoying the hot spring at Chiugonba. The lush vegetation and unspoiled lake are an ideal place for grazing. A stroll on the banks of the lake will allow tourists to meet local nomads.

Tibean Nomad

Tibetan nomads can also be seen in some other places if one treks from Old Tingri to Everest Base Camp and the shoreline of most of lakes on the pleatau, Peiku Lake, etc. But for the most primeval and traditional nomadic life, you may go to the immense grasslands in Qangtang, northern Tibet, and in areas of Qinghai and Sichuan Inhabited by Tibet nomads.

Seasonal Mobility of Tibetan Nomads

Seasonal mobility marks one of the biggest features of Tibetan nomads. Each year during February and March of Tibetan calendar nomads scattered in the north of Tanggula Mountains will migrant down to southern pastures and spend the summer there. It is the time when new lambs are born and are taken great care of. So, the nomadic caravan moves slowly and stay in a place for a couple of days and move on. And the entire journey takes about three months and nomads will spend the whole summer in summer pastures and move north in August on Tibetan calendar.

Nowadays MOST of nomads are semi-nomadic, which means they will have a permanent settlement in winter and restart their pastoral life to elsewhere as winter ends. For most of nomads, each relocation takes normally 4-5 days, some even as long as 3-4 months. The annual relocation time can reach around 10 times.

NOMADS think highly of the first move. Normally, they will invite a lama or an elderly to tell the fortune and choose an auspicious date to begin the journey. Some may even offer a sacrifice to the gods of mountain to pray for safety. Nomads use horses and yaks to carry the tents and other large furniture. Babies are held by horse riders or put in a specially-made basket which is carried by yaks. After they arrive at the new campsite and a tent will be put up within 3 hours and the stove and other furniture will all be put in place. Besides, devout nomads may splash the first home-made tea three times up in the air in honor of gods of mountain. In all, it is the grazing condition and changing weather that decide where to move to and when to leave for the next destination.

Nomadic Life and Tourism Business

Nomad and Tourism

Tibetan nomads and prairies are a major draw for tourists. As summer comes, the vast steppe turns into a massive blanket dotted with numerous little-known flowers.Summer is the high season of travelling in prairie. In addition to pitching camps and snapping photos, tourists are also drawn to diversified nomadic tents.

Some business-minded nomads will offer tourists with cozy accommodation and local delicacies. Another hit is to have horseback riding on the prairie. In this way, semi-nomads benefit from prairie tourism. Such scene is pretty common especially in Gannan prairie in Qinghai province and Hongyuan prairie of Sichuan province. In summer, the nomadic resorts are often packed with strings of tourists. The tourist will be invited to nomadic tent and served with sweet tea and yogurt and dried beef.

Horse Racing Festivals – the Most Popular Festival on the Grasslands

Horse racing enjoys a great popularity among Tibetan nomads. Each year, horse racing competition of all sizes is held in prairies of Tibet. In fact, it is so popular that where there is a festival held in prairies, there must be a horse racing. To Tibetans, not only is horse racing a festival for communication, but also a chance for young men to display bravery and tenacity.

A typical horse racing festival lasts for 2-3 days and involves a diversity of events: horsemanship performance, archery competition, stone-carrying competition, tug and war, etc. At night, nomads will set a campfire to roast lamb while singing and dancing around the fire.

Horse racing festival also serves as a trade fair. Sellers sell their own products, such as dried beef, yak butter, natural lake salt, cordyceps and fritillary (Tibetan herbal medicine),etc. while buyers will stock daily necessities that can last for a year. As horse racing ends, they will happily return to prairies with yaks loaded with ample supplies.

The most celebrated horse racing festivals are Yushu Horse Racing Festival of Qinghai province, Litang Horse Racing Festival in Sichuan province, and Nagqu Horse Racing Festvial in northern Tibet.

Yushu Horse Racing Festival Grassland

Yushu Horse Racing Festival is the biggest one among nomadic festivals in Tibet, People gather on the vast grassland during the festival and make the grassland as lively as a carnival.

Well-known six Tibetan Prairies

There are six famous prairies in Tibet, you can choose any of them as your first nomadic tourists destination. But Tibet vista highly recommend Gannan Grassland as you can find primitive Tibetan Culture here, Monasteries are much more flourishing than those in TAR.

Grasslands in Tibet

Zoige Grassland feastures for Nine-bends of Yellow River and it is one of the biggest livesstock suppliers in Tibet.

Changtang Prairie - Located on nothern highland of Tibet, Nagchu Prefecture, with an average altitude of over 5000m. It is also home to various wildlife, such as wild yak, Tibetan antelope, Tibetan wild donkey, alpine rabbit, black-necked crane, etc.


Gannan Prairie - Situated in the northeast of Tibetan plateau, with an altitude of 3000-4000m, Gannan prairie features stunning alpine wetland scenery, mysterious Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, and unique local Gannan customs.


Zoige Prairie - Located in the overlapping areas of Sichuan, Ganshu, and Qinghai provinces, Zoige prairie covers an area of 35,600 square kilometers and mainly consists of meadow steppe and swamp. Nine-bends of Yellow River is the most famous attractions in this area.


Sankoh Prairie - Lies in Xiahe region of Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sankoh prairie features meadow steppe and covers an area of 70 square kilometers. With an average altitude of above 3000m, Sankoh prairie works as one of the major suppliers of livestock products in Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture.There are around 4000 semi-nomads live in this area.


Jinying Prairie - Jinying Prairie is one of the 4A-level(5A being the highest level) tourist attractions in Haiyai county of Qinghai province. It is believed to be a land of abundant resource and treasure. For generations, Tibetan nomads live in this place and there are approximately over 300 thousand livestock graze on the rich grass.

Ngari (ali) Prairie - Lies in the northeast of Ngari prefecture. As the tour bus moves in regions like coqen county, gerze county, gegyzi county and gar county, tourists can see a boundless prairie and the wilderness coexists with glaciers, alpine lakes, and mountainous ranges.


Tibetan Nomadic Soul: 2 songs by Tenzin Choegyal & Metta String Ensemble [HD] Rhythm Divine, ABC RN


A Tibetan Nomad's Life - www.KhamFilmProject.org - www.Youtube.com/TibetArchive



Τελευταία Ενημέρωση στις Παρασκευή, 21 Νοέμβριος 2014 11:40