People of Tibet

The majority of Tibet's population of 1,890,000 is Tibetan. Tibet is so thinly populated that it averages out 1.6 8 persons per square kilometers. About 90% of the people live on farming and husbandry in the valleys of Tsangpo River (Brahmapotra) and its major tributaries Kyichu and Nuuang-chu. This area produces barely, wheat, peas and rape-seed, the great northern grassland which occupies a good half of Tibet is the home of nomads, yaks and sheep. Nomads The remaining population, approximately 10%, lives in towns earning their living mainly on business and handicraft, and many are factory workers and government officials.

Ideology of people in this land differs greatly from any other nationality both at home in China and in the world. Religion seems almost everything. Many live for the next life, rather than for the present. They accumulate deeds of virtue and pray for the final liberation-enlightenment. Lips and hands of the elders are never at still, either busied in murmuring of the six syllable mantric prayer OM Ma Ni Pad Me Hum (Hail the Jewel in the Lotus) or in rotation of hand prayer wheels, or counting of the prayer beads. Pious pilgrims from every corner of Tibet day to day gather at jokhang Temple and barkor Street offering donations and praying heart and soul for their own Selves, for their friends, and for their friends' friends. There are more than ten ethnic groups in Tibet, including Tibetan, Mongolian, Nu, Drung, Moinba, Lhoba, Hui, Naxi, Deng and Sherpa. Among them, Tibetans are the dominant inhabitants of Tibet, accounting for c.92.2 percent of the local population.

The Tibetan ethnic group of China is noted for its diligence, bravery and long history. Tibetans live mainly in Tibet and also in some areas of Sichuan, Qinghai, Gansu and Yunnan provinces. They have their own language and written script. Most Tibetan people are Buddhist. Their staple food is barley flour, and they like to drink butter tea, milk tea, barley wine, and eat beef and mutton. They do not eat odd-toed mammals. In ancient times Tibetan people buried their dead. Now they perform cremation, exposure burial and water burial.

The Moinba is an ancient ethnic group on the Tibet Plateau. Most Moinbas live in Moinyu in southern Tibet and the rest are scattered through Medog, Conag, Nyingchi and other counties. Moinbas have their own language but no written script, and the Tibetan language and script are widely used among them. Moinbas live on agriculture, but are also involved in animal husbandry, forestry, hunting and handicrafts. Most Moinbas believe in Tibetan Buddhism. Most Lhoba people live in Lhoyu in southeastern Tibet, and a small number live in Mainling, Medog, Zayu and Lhunze. The Lhobas have their own language but no written script, although a small number know the Tibetan language and script. Lhobas live on agriculture. The Hui people in Tibet are concentrated in Lhasa Xigaze and Qamdo. Most of them are engaged in trade, handicrafts and butchery. They use both Tibetan and Han characters in everyday life, and Urdu and Arabic for their religious rituals. Hui people are Islamic and have built mosques in Lhasa and other places. The Deng people reside in Zayu County in Nyingchi Prefecture. They have their own language but no written script. The Dengs live on agriculture. Before liberation, the Dengs stills used the primitive slash-and-burn method. After liberation, with the help of the government most of them have moved out of forests and settled on the river valley. The Sherpa people are concentrated in Lixin Township, Dinggye and Zhentang. They have their own language and use Tibetan script. The emigration of Han people to Tibet can be dated back to the Qing Dynasty. These days Han residents in Tibet are mostly from other regions of China.

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