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TSAMPA is one of the staple foodstuffs in the Himalayan region and particularly within the Tibetan nomadic community Tsampa continues to hold an important place in their diet. Play the video to learn more about the making of Tsampa.

DAIRY products are the main source of diet for the nomads, especially during summer when sources of protein such as meat are rare. Due to lack of storage and heat issues, meat is prepared in the winter and the dried ones are saved for summer. 

 

Something as simple as a weighing scale can be an important part of the household. Usually, self-made by one of the family members, these weighing scales are used when trading wool, Pashmina, and other exchangeable items.

When communities are exiled from their original place of home, how does that also impact the material possessions of the households? Exiled from Tibet to India, listen to a personal story on how the material realities of this family changed.

 

The nomadic way of life has been largely self-sustainable. Nomads usually make their own food, clothes, and items for trade from raw materials that they have access to, mainly from their flock.

In the nomadic community, the role of cloth production is a shared one between both genders. The process of acquiring and preparation of the materials is usually taken by the men while women do the actual weaving and production. 

 

Weaving is one of the essential skills that the women of the nomadic community pass from one generation to the next. Through weaving, mattresses and blankets are produced for one's home, and when time permits, some women weave to sell it for cash or to exchange it with other items. Often, the ones to sell and gift are finely made with intricate designs. The ones for everyday use are simpler. It usually takes about 15 days to weave one pair as the women are usually multitasking. Looking after children, doing chores, and fulfilling roles related to the cattle. In this video, you will see some of the detailed processes of weaving.

In the final step, the three separate stripes are sewed together to form the final mattress. The picture on the right shows a mattress with all parts sewed together. This particular mattress is made from Yak and sheep wool. 

Explore the videos below to learn more about the everyday life of the Drokpa. 

 

Good morning! Rise and shine. Time to wake up.

First things first! Get the milk.

 

It is time to move to another pasture. Pastoralism maintains the grassland for year-round fodder and help sustain the pasture for a longer time by avoiding over grazing. There are strict rules against herding in pastures that are not meant for the specific season.

The traditional method of movement on Yaks and Horses is replaced by fast-moving motor vehicles. Here in this video a Tibetan nomadic family in Puga, Ladakh, move from the winter area to the spring location. The arrival of motor vehicles is considered by many nomads as being very efficient and useful however in harsh winters of the Janthang region people continue to take the services of Horses for transportation. The motor engines are unreliable in the cold climate and are susceptible to becoming frozen.