Welcome to the Tibetan Material Culture website.
This site aims to provide you with an open-access comprehensive resource to learn more about the rich tradition and culture of the Tibetan Drokpa(s) or pastoral nomads. The material culture originating from the Drokpa community is vast and therefore the focus of this project is diverse and long-term. The pastoral nature of the nomadic lifestyle and changes as a result of education, global climate change, government policies, geopolitical factors, and generational differences in lived experiences make the study of material culture extremely interesting and challenging at the same time. Generally, I focus on people's relationships with objects and the place of these objects in the everyday life of the community rather than taking a "longing" approach to what could have been or what was. Change is a complex subject to discuss but it is often welcomed under various circumstances.
Some parts of the project focus on Drokpa identity. What does it mean to be a Drokpa in exile? What does it mean to be a young Drokpa who goes to school, college, or works in the city?
As the person managing and creating the content for this site, I would like to let you know that I do so as a multimedia producer and a documentary filmmaker. I have not lived as a nomad but I come from a family of nomads with my generation being the first to be born in a settled village. I have been learning about the many layers and complexity of the pastoral nomadic way of life through the community of Tibetan refugees who continue to live as nomads in Ladakh, India.
Thank you so much for visiting the Tibetan Material Culture Website. Share the site with friends and family. If you have any questions, please reach out through the contact page.
This project aims to document the material culture of Tibet primarily through the community of pastoral nomads living in the remote Jangthang region in Ladakh.
Our goal is to ENCOURAGE appreciation of traditional culture and knowledge of the present and past, to build a space for generational INTERACTION and to make important information ACCESSIBLE for a larger audience.
This project wouldn't be possible without the support of many individuals and organizations. Most heartfelt gratitude to all the families and individuals who participated in the interviews and in the documentary process. Seed funding was provided for the website by the Tibetan Art and Culture Fund 2019.