Photo Stories

People of the Solitudes

People of the Solitudes

The Soul of the Drokpa Nomads of Eastern Tibet

Tibet is well known as "a land of snows," having the youngest and therefore some of the highest mountains on Earth. I found a landscape of awesome beauty, with an average altitude of 14,000 feet and an extreme, savage climate. It struck me that it takes a tough and resilient people to flourish in these conditions.

Perhaps the vastness and solitude of the landscape have been a source of inspiration for the Tibetans, helping to encourage their natural bent to visionary mysticism and to develop their unique brand of Buddhism.

Click on the image above to read the full story on the MOOWON website.

DROKPA: The Nomadic Mountain People of Tibet

Global Oneness Project

DROKPA: The Nomadic Mountain People of Tibet

I have been photographing Tibetans for a number of years—deeply inspired by a culture that places spirituality at the heart of life. I have been most moved by Tibet's Drokpa, or nomads, who until recently comprised an estimated 25 percent to 40 percent of the Tibetan population. Drokpa means, "people of the solitudes," and they are truly a mountain people, herding livestock on vast high-altitude pastures for millennia. Their way of life has remained unchanged for centuries, making them natural stewards of Tibet's grasslands and living examples of original Tibetan culture.

Click on the image above to read the full story on the Global Oneness Project website.

tibetan photographer

Spirits, Rituals and Festivals of the Drokpas

Sacred People. Sacred Place

Tibet is a sacred land, its people an expression of that sacredness. For 17,000 years before Buddhism arrived the nomads and farmers of Tibet practiced Bon Shamanism which revered the land and related to it as a spiritual being. The sky, mountains, rivers, and lakes were animated by gods, demons or nature spirits.

The establishment of Buddhism in Tibet in the 7th century transformed the country and created a culture of tremendous depth and richness. Today, shamanic practices continue to coexist alongside studious monasticism and a lived compassion for all beings.

Click on the image above to read the full story on the MOOWON website.

tibetan photographer

Dragons, Drokpa and a Drukpa Kargyu Master

The Role of Dragons in Tibet

In the West, dragons are the stuff of myth, legend and wonderful children's stories. But to Tibetan nomads, or "drokpa", dragons are real and seeing them is always an auspicious sign.

While travelling in eastern Tibet I visited Sonam Wangbo and his family, nomads who live in the remote, beautiful and sacred Dahu Valley. We travelled on horseback to his spring home high in flower-filled pastures and, settled in front of his stove with the Tibetan staple, a bowl of tsampa, I found myself asking him if he had ever seen a dragon.

Click on the image above to read the full story on the MOOWON website.