5 Oct 2022

Francis Tsang of the ChromeFree Leather Alliance writes that Tibetan nomads are the harmonious relationship between them and their livestock, as well as between the nomads and nature. Yaks play an indispensable role in maintaining nomads’ daily necessities. Male nomads spin yak wool into ropes and slingshots while women weave the yarns into the fabric for tents, blankets, bags, and clothing.

The role of the female nomad is important in a typical nomad family and they are exceedingly versatile and hard-working. Women milk the yaks and sheep, venturing out no matter how terrible the weather is. They use milk to make yogurt, yak butter tea, and yak cheese. They also grind the barley, fetch and boil the water, weave the wool, and dry yak dung for fuel.

Even children have responsibilities, herding and feeding the livestock, staying out in the wilderness all day without shelter from wind and rain. The male nomads may seem to be less busy most of the time, but shoulder the task of traveling outside and 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.

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