Nomads of Western Tibet: The Survival of a Way of Life

Posted By: vidra
Nomads of Western Tibet: The Survival of a Way of Life

Melvyn C. Goldstein, Cynthia M. Beall, Nomads of Western Tibet: The Survival of a Way of Life
Photo album & field study | University of California Press | 1990 | ISBN 9622170997 | 200 pages | JPG | 300 dpi | ~ 351 MB

Nomads of Western Tibet: The Survival of a Way of Life

Melvyn C. Golstein is Professor and Chairman of the Department of Anthropology and Director of the Center for Research on Tibet at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. Cynthia M. Beall is Professor of Anthropology at Case Western Reserve University. Both are among the world's leading authorities of Tibetan language and physical anthropology.

Commentary from

If you've ever enjoyed a National Geographic article – wonderful photographs, fascinating subject – but felt that it was too short, with nowhere near enough text, and have been left feeling still hungry to know more … well, this book is for you.

The photographs are sumptuous, reflecting the training and support provided by the National Geographic Society to the anthropologist-authors, experts on Tibet and other high altitude regions. For this book, they selected 212 images from about 10,000 slides taken during 16 months of field work from 1986-88. The results are stunning, and I only wish the best were available as large prints for framing.

If you have seen the documentary film (available on DVD/video) "Saltmen of Tibet", this book provides a much expanded look at the life of the same society. The landscape is the same also, although more spectacular since it reaches from the plains into the surrounding mountains. The book and film make an interesting pair, nicely complementing each other.

The subjects are some half-million nomadic pastoralists living in the Changtang region of Western Tibet, a high altitude plateau where the climate is too severe and unpredictable for agriculture and the economy has for centuries, perhaps millenia, centered around herding sheep, goats and yaks. Their culture was integrated with the broader Tibetan society, through direct governance and economic ties, yet remained distinct and distinctive. Far from the primitive small bands of egalitarian herders one might imagine, there is substantial stratification of wealth and class. The book describes the traditional economic and social life, something of the traditional history, and also the history of interaction with and subjugation to the Chinese.

The style is engaging, a cross between the narrative story of the expedition and topically organized description (e.g., "Dairy Products", "The Salt Trek", "Economic and Social Change Under the New Policies"). In addition to the many simply beautiful pictures of the landscape, herds and wildlife, there are numerous photographs of the daily activities such as butter and cheese making, hay cutting, or just an old woman sitting in the sun with her rosary.

In short, highly recommended to anyone with an interest in Tibet, nomadic cultures, or the high regions of the earth.

I have scanned this book with 300 dpi and uploaded it as single JPG files without reducing their resolution, in order you could also use single images for printing, background etc.