A Tibetan Nomad. From National Geographic Vol.175 No. 6 – June 1989
I don’t want to trivialize the difficult complexities of the Tibetan diaspora by saying things like “this guy is cooler than we’ll ever be!” But – just this once, forgive me – this guy is cooler than we’ll ever be. I mean, look at him. He will hack your system, friends. With his mind.
This arresting National Geographic image of a Tibetan nomad on the Riotclitshave photo blog prompted me to search around for more information and images on Tibetan nomads. I found an incredible series of black and white portraits from 2001 taken by Daniel Miller, a story about the Tibetan nomads’ adoption of motorcycles on the NYT, and a great image gallery on BBC. Here are my favorite quotes from the BBC gallery, accompanied by images:
- “Many of my friends have bought motorcycles instead of using horses. They enjoy decorating the cycle with tassels and carpets like we do our horses.”
- “At night, right before bed, we howl into the dark to remind would-be thieves, wolves and local hungry ghosts to stay away from our herds.”
- “We offer butter and yoghurt to the lama. He hasn’t gone to town for years so doesn’t have much use for paper money.”
This unique community continues to dwindle under the Chinese regime. Government policy aims to settle more and more nomads into these faceless-looking settlements, and according to the BBC, the transition to this lifestyle is difficult for most.