藏地人文历史

Local History and Culture

2021-05-25

置身藏地,我们直面的是另一种文化,我们透过自身文化的棱镜去认识一片不一样的土地和不一样信仰的人们,同时也会开始反思自身的文化。人们常容易落入文化中心主义的陷阱:以自身文化作为标准去衡量他人,默认文化有先进和落后之分,对我们而言陌生的,就被认为是不够文明的。

When in the Tibetan region, we face a different culture. We get to know a different land and a group of people with different beliefs through the lens of our own culture. At the same time, we start to reflect on ourselves. It is easy to fall into the trap of “cultural egoism,” judging others by our own culture, believing that there are advanced and backward cultures, and those that are foreign to us are not civilized enough.

在自然体验过程中,我们也希望体验者对于这些文化差异也保持观察者的态度,切勿依据自己的文化去评判其他文化和习俗。一句包裹着误解的心直口快,也许会就此伤了彼此间的感情。但如果你怀着一颗包容、探究的心去观察和体验,你也许就会突然理解了这个历史悠久的民族生活习惯的来历,也收获到一颗颗同样真诚对待你和尊重你的文化的心。

In the process of nature watch, we hope participants can keep the attitude as an observer and do not judge other cultures and customs based on their own culture. A thoughtless remark may lead to misunderstanding and hurt the feelings between people. But should you participate with a tolerant and inquiring heart, you would find the origins of living habits of these people with a long history, and receive in return sincere welcomes from people who would treat you and respect your culture just as much.



青藏高原之生计 Livelihoods on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau


青藏高原的高海拔、氧气稀薄、日照充足等因素构成了这里独特的地理位置与气候特点,同时也影响着当地藏民的生产、生活方式。 

The high altitude, lack of oxygen and abundance of sunshine on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau constitute the unique geographical and climatic characteristics of the area, and also affect the production and lifestyle of the local Tibetan people.


业生产 Nomadic pastoralism

畜牧业是昂赛乡所处玉树州西部地区的传统主业,被称为“高原之舟”的牦牛则是最重要的家畜:其皮毛可用于制作帐篷、衣物、毛毯,牛奶是多种食物的原材料,牛肉可煮食、炒食或用来制作干肉、包子等,内脏用来灌制血肠或肉肠,牛粪是日常烹饪和取暖的燃料,牛角则可以作为器皿或装饰物。此外当地还饲养少量的马、藏系绵羊、驴等牲畜。

Yak herding is the traditional main industry in the west of Yushu Prefecture, where Angsai is located. Known as “the boats of the highlands,” yaks are the most important livestock in the area: their hides can be used to make tents, clothes, carpets; yak milk is the raw material for many kinds of food; yak meat can be boiled, fried or make buns; offal is used to make sausages; yak dung is a daily source of fuel, and horns can be used as utensils or decorative objects. In addition to yaks, local people also keep a small number of horses, Tibetan sheep and donkeys.

在畜牧生产中,藏民很重视协调自然与人的依存关系,形成了高原畜牧文化的各种习俗规制。一年中藏族牧民会有两次“转场”,以防止过度放牧带来的草皮退化:每年五月,人们开始从冬季草场(“冬窝子”)搬至夏季草场(“夏窝子”),夏季草场所选择的地势相对较高,此时正好可以在山上采挖冬虫夏草。到九月时再搬迁至地势较低的冬季草场,冬季草场向阳、避风而临河。从上世纪末开始大多牧户会在冬季草场建造房屋来取代帐篷,以更好地避寒取暖、防范野兽。转场时人们往往会请活佛占卜,并向山神煨桑献祭,以求风调雨顺。

In livestock industry, the Tibetan people value the balanced relationship between nature and human, and have formed various customs and regulations of highland livestock culture. Tibetan herders will have move twice a year to prevent the grassland degradation brought about by overgrazing. Every May, people move from winter pasture to summer pasture. The terrain chosen for the summer is relatively high and people can look for caterpillar fungus in the mountains. In September, people will move back to winter pasture with lower terrain, which is sunny, sheltered from wind and near the river. Since the end of the last century, most herding families have built houses in winter pastures in replace of tents to better protect themselves from the cold and wild predators. When moving from one pasture to another, people often ask the living Buddha for guidance and pray to the gods of the mountains in return for good weather and enough rain.


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日常牧事 A Day in the Life of a Nomadic Family

游牧家庭的一天从清早放牧牦牛开始。藏族妇女一般会在凌晨五点左右起床,进行捡牛粪、挤牦牛奶、为全家准备早餐等工作,再将牛羊赶至山上。午时,全家人会围着房屋正中的藏式炉子享用午餐,藏式炉子以干牛粪和煤为燃料,既可以取暖也能直接用来煮饭烧水;下午男主人喜欢去别家喝茶;傍晚时需赶牛入圈、准备晚餐;晚上有时全家人会聚在一起念经。放牧的时间因季节差异而略有差别,如夏季讲究早牧,而冬季食草匮乏,因而也会延长放牧时间。

The day of a nomadic family begins with herding yaks early in the morning. Tibetan women usually get up at 5 am to collect yak dung, milk the yaks, prepare breakfast for the family, and bring the yaks and sheep to the mountains. At noon, the whole family will gather around the Tibetan stove in the middle of the room to enjoy lunch. The stoves are fueled by dried yak dung and coal, and can be used for heating, boiling water and cooking. In the afternoon, men often go to other families for tea. In the evening, women will bring the yaks back and prepare for dinner. Sometimes the whole family will gather and recite the scriptures together. The grazing time varies slightly according to the seasons. Early grazing is practiced in the summer and in the winter, due to the lack of grass, the grazing time is often extended.


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畜牧经济向虫草经济的转变 Transformation of Livestock Economy to Caterpillar Fungus Economy

在海拔四千米左右的高原,生长着一种神奇而珍稀的药草——野生冬虫夏草,藏语称之为“雅扎贡布Yartsa Gunbu”(虫草是真菌寄生在昆虫幼虫上的子座及幼虫尸体的干燥复合体)。虫草在国内外广受追捧,价格曾一度与等量黄金一样贵重,而昂赛所属的杂多县有着“中国冬虫夏草第一县”的美誉,当地虫草个头大、品质优,是全县居民全年最重要的收入来源。每年五月中旬,学校会放两个月的“虫草假”,人们举家出动上山,匍匐在山间用肉眼仔细寻找这埋藏在高山草甸下的 "软黄金"。

On the Plateau with an altitude of about 4,000 meters, there exists a kind of rare herb - the “caterpillar fungus,” known as “Yartsa Gunbu” in Tibetan. It is produced when a fungus penetrates the larva of a ghost moth, growing inside and finally killing the host that burrows beneath the ground. As the snows retreat, a small shoot grows out of the shell of the dead larva, poking just above the soil. This shoot, difficult to spot by all but the most experienced foragers, can be picked like a mushroom in the summer. The caterpillar fungus is widely sought after both domestically and abroad, and the price was once as expensive as gold. Zaduo County, where Angsai is located, has the reputation of "No. 1 county of caterpillar fungus in China", where the caterpillar fungi found are both big and have good quality and are the most important source of income for local people. In the middle of May every year, schools will take two months of "caterpillar fungus vacation", and people will go out with their families into the mountains to look for this "soft gold" buried in the alpine meadows.

虽然虫草价格因为每年的天气和市场需求都会大幅度变动,十分不可靠,但虫草经济给当地牧民带来不菲的收入,拉动了地方经济发展,致使牧民的消费观念、生活习惯都发生着变化,也推动着传统游牧生计的深刻转型。

Although the price changes dramatically every year due to weather and market demand, this economy of caterpillar fungus has indeed brought considerable income to local herders, boosted local economic development, and changed local people’s consumption concepts and living habits. It is also driving the transformation of traditional nomadic livelihoods.


体验藏区生活 Experiencing Tibetan Life



极富特色的饮食 Unique Diet

藏民的日常饮食与其畜牧生产紧密相连,奶、肉、糌粑为三大主食。近年来越来越多的家庭也开始吃米饭和蔬菜。

The daily diet of Tibetans is closely related to their livestock production. Milk, meat, and tsamba are the three main staples. In recent years, more and more families have also started to eat rice and vegetables.

牛奶可用于制成酥油、酸奶、奶茶、奶渣(“曲拉”)等,夏季是牛产奶旺季,人们就更多吃些奶制品。

Milk can be used to make yak butter, yogurt, milk tea, etc. Summer is the season with most yak milk production, and people will eat more dairy products during this period of the year.

秋冬季屠宰,饮食又以肉食为主,手抓肉是将牦牛肉冷水入锅加盐煮开,吃时一手抓肉,一手用刀将肉切下;每家每户在冬宰后都要制作风干肉,将大块的肉悬挂在气温低的地方自然风干两个月,一次做完可以吃半年甚至更久,风干肉有一种特别的松脆口感。

The diet in autumn and winter is based mainly on meat. To cook "hand-grasping beef", people will cut the yak meat along the bone, put it in an pot filled with cold water, and add some salt before boiling over fire. When eating it, people usually hold the meat with one hand, while holding a knife with the other hand to cut and chop the meat. Every family will prepare for "seasoned meat" in the winter, when temperatures reach levels below zero degrees: slices of meat are hung in cold places for two months and will not be eaten until February or March. This will suffice the family’s demand of meat for the next half a year or even longer. “Seasoned meat” has a unique crisp texture to it.

人们一年四季都离不开糌粑(青稞炒面),它是由翻炒后的青稞粒磨制而成。糌粑吃法多样,可以跟酥油、茶等混匀捏成团吃;茶和酒则是除奶之外最主要的饮品。此外煮食芫根、人参果(蕨麻)也常见于餐桌。

People can never live without tsamba (roasted barley flour). The barley is first roasted, and then milled into a powder without being peeled. Tsamba can be eaten in a variety of ways, usually mixed with yak butter and milk tea and made into a dough before eating it with hands. Tea and liquor are the most important drink in addition to milk. Cooked genkwa roots and silverweed roots are also common dishes on the table.

前往牧民家中做客,桌上必定会摆满干肉、饮料、糖果和自制的藏面饼、油条,品尝主人献上的酥油白糖人参果,喝一口香甜的酥油茶,用手亲自捏制糌粑,将是一番别样的体验。

When visiting a herdsman’s home, you will definitely see the table full of dried meat, drinks, candies and homemade Tibetan pastry and doughnuts. It will be an unique experience to taste the silverweed roots with yak butter and sugar, take a sip of the sweet butter milk tea, and make tsamba with your own hands.


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传统民居 Traditional Housing

在过去,帐篷是适应长距离大范围游牧的最佳住所,尽管近几十年来大多数牧民在碉房、砖瓦房定居,但现在仍也离不开帐篷。在夏季,随处可见一种呈不规则方形的黑帐篷,这是当地一种历史悠久的特色民居,由牛毛制成,构造简单、结实方便,是代表藏民传统游牧生活的典型住所。在今天,新婚的藏族夫妇也会选择在巨大的黑帐篷中举办婚礼。而白布帐篷更小、更轻便,美观性也更强,一般在参加赛马会、外出游玩或夏季游牧时使用。

In the past, tents were the best dwellings to adapt to long-distance and extensive nomadic herding. Although most herders have settled in houses in recent decades, their lives are still inseparable from tents. In summer, you can see black tents in irregular square shape everywhere, which is a kind of local dwelling with long history. Made of yaks’ hides, simple in construction, strong and convenient, it is a typical dwelling representing the traditional nomadic life of Tibetans. Today, newlywed Tibetan couples also choose to hold their weddings in the huge black tents. The white cloth tent, on the other hand, is smaller, lighter and more aesthetically pleasing, and is generally used when attending horse races, going out for fun or nomadic herding in summer.

传统民居帐篷中,门开在背风的方向,正中为灶,后面是佛台。每家都会有一个公共客厅,藏民极重家庭观念,即使没有客人来访,全家人平日也会花很多时间聚在客厅里喝茶、聊天或静静休息。

In a traditional folk tent, the door opens leeward, with the stove in the center and the Buddhist platform behind. Each family will have a common living room. Tibetans value the concept of family very much. Even when there are no guests visiting, the whole family will spend a lot of time in the living room to drink tea, chat or rest quietly.


多彩的服饰Colorful Clothes

传统藏族服饰防风又保暖,具有腰襟扩大、袖子宽长的特点,其以缎带为系扣,领、襟、袖、摆都有锦缎、兽皮或氆氇镶边。男子藏袍大多垂至膝盖,便于跨马,而女子藏袍下身自然垂落至脚踝。天气炎热或需要劳作时,人们会脱去一袖或双袖,将长袖盘扎于腰间,天气寒冷时又会套上双袖。

Traditional Tibetan costume is windproof and warm, featuring expanded waist lapels and long wide sleeves. It uses ribbons as ties, with collar, lapels, sleeves and hem edged with brocade, animal skin or serge. Men’s robes are usually shorter, reaching to the knees for the convenience of horse riding, while women’s robes almost reach the ground. When the weather is hot or working is required, people will take one or both sleeves and tie the long sleeves around the waist, and put the sleeves back on when the weather turns cold.


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藏族男女服饰略有差异,可被概括为“男人穿短,女人穿长”

Tibetan men and women wear slightly different clothes. Such difference can be summarized as "men wear short ones and women wear long ones".


藏民喜爱佩戴首饰,如耳环、项链、腰饰和手饰,很多首饰都是由贵金属和宝石制作而成。最华丽的是女子头饰,其以辫套和珠宝为主,附有少许彩线穗,辫套上的饰物一般为琥珀、珊瑚、绿松石、玛瑙、银元等。

Tibetan people love to wear jewelry, such as earrings, necklaces, waist ornaments and bracelets. Many jewelries are made of precious metals and stones. The most gorgeous jewelry is the women's head-wear, which consists mainly of braid cover and jewels, decorated with a few colorful tassels. The ornaments on the braid cover are usually amber, coral, turquoise, agate, silver, etc.


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盛装打扮的藏族女子 Well-dressed Tibetan women


宗教信仰 Religious Beliefs


宗教向藏民描绘出一套有秩序的宇宙模式,满足着藏民由特殊的自然、社会环境所产生的心理需求,也为藏民共同体的平衡所依赖的共同目的和价值观提供了基础。藏区的宗教面貌基本由两种力量构成:神学宗教,主要指藏传佛教;其次是深藏于牧民心中、影响其精神生活的民间信仰。

Religion portrays an ordered set of cosmic patterns to the Tibetans, satisfying their psychological needs arising from their particular natural and social environment, and providing the basis for the common purpose and values on which the balance of the Tibetan community rests. The religious landscape of the Tibetan region is basically composed of two folds: theological religion, mainly referring to Tibetan Buddhism, and common beliefs that are deeply embedded in the hearts of the herders and influence their spiritual lives.


神学宗教 Theological Religion

苯教作为藏区的本土宗教,在青藏高原起源甚早,几经兴衰,如今还存在于藏民的精神信仰中。佛教自公元七世纪传入藏区以来,历经了和苯教相互融合、共同发展的过程,演化为独具特色的藏传佛教。

As the native religion of the Tibetan region, Bonism originated early on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and has experienced several ups and downs. It still exists in the spritual beliefs of Tibetan people until this day. Since its introduction to the Tibetan region in the 7th century, Buddhism has evolved into a unique Tibetan Buddhism through the process of mutual integration and joint development with Bon religion.

藏传佛教内部还分噶举派、宁玛派、格鲁派、萨迦派、噶当派等派别,但正如元朝帝师八思巴所说,众教派就像一只手的五根手指一般不可分割。

Tibetan Buddhism is divided into Kagyu, Nyingma, Gelugpa, Sakya, Kadam and other sects, but all sects are inseparable like the five fingers of a hand.


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色彩斑斓的经幡是青藏高原上一道独特的风景 

The colorful pray flags are an unique view on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau


间信仰 Common Beliefs

民间信仰也是藏民精神信仰的重要内容。藏族是一个崇拜高山大湖的民族,在玉树地区,民间信仰最突出的崇拜物即为神山,其相当于汉文化中的“土地神”,昂赛乡年都村就有着以“莫核拉才”为代表的十三座神山,围绕神山而产生的神话传说、地方景观数不胜数。

Common beliefs are also an important part of the spiritual beliefs of Tibetans. Tibetan people worship high mountains and large lakes, and in the Yushu area, the most prominent object of common belief is the sacred mountains, which is equivalent to the "land god" in Han ethnic culture. The Niandu Village of Angsai Township is famous for its 13 sacred mountains. There are also countless myths and legends as well as local landscapes that originated from these mountains.

藏区神山一般高峻独立,自然的某些特征唤起了人们对超自然事物的联想并获得宗教感受。在过去的部落时期,神山的序列与部落的结构有着内在的一致性:部落越强,其信仰的神山名声就越大,神山的位置也跟牧民从事经济、社会和军事活动的地点密切相关。

The sacred mountains in the Tibetan region are generally high and independent, and certain features of nature evoke associations with supernatural objects and religious connections. In the past tribal period, the sequence of sacred mountains was intrinsically consistent with the structure of the tribe: the stronger the tribe, the greater the fame of the sacred mountain it believed in. The location of the sacred mountain was also closely related to the location where the herders engaged in economic, social and military activities.


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昂赛乡年都村的乃崩神山 Naibeng Sacred Mountain in Niandu Village, Angsai Township


在藏区,既有庇佑人的神山,也有惩罚人的神山。转山是人们最主要的信仰实践方式。日常祭祀山神的行为是一种不受时间限制的信仰活动,祭供的原因也多种多样:灾病、喜庆、建宅、远出等,男子会上山顶煨桑,在山上撒“龙达”(一种印着经文的小纸片),或放置嘛呢石、银元等实物。

In Tibetan areas, there are both sacred mountains that bless people and sacred mountains that punish people. Praying around the mountains (circumambulation or kora) is the most important way people practice their faith. The daily worship of the mountain gods canbe done at anytime of a day, and there are various reasons for making sacrifices or offerings: disasters and illnesses, celebrations, building houses, and traveling, etc. Men will burn pine and cypress branches on the mountain top, spread Lungta (paperprints with sutra)on the mountain, or place mani stone, silver and other objects.

多元性与多重性是藏文化的重要特点之一,藏区的民间信仰与神学宗教是相互补充、相互渗透的,这就造成牧民宗教生活多元性、复合性的并存。

Plurality and multiplicity are important characteristics of Tibetan culture, and the common beliefs and theological religion in theTibetan region are mutually complementary and interpenetrating, which has led to the diverse and composite nature of the religious life of herdsmen.


宗教信仰中蕴含的生态保护思想 The idea of ecological conservation embedded in religious beliefs

藏传佛教崇信万物有灵,善待一切众生可以带来福报。这种信仰促成着人与自然的和谐关系,一定程度上也与现代生态保护思想相契合。

Tibetan Buddhism follows the idea of animism and believes that treating all livings well can bring blessings. This belief contributes to a harmonious relationship between people and nature and to some extent fits in with the modern idea of ecological conservation.

例如,人们绝对禁止在神山上放牧、打猎或扔垃圾,也不能随意开采各种资源。河流本身具有神性,鱼是水神的化身,因此不能捕鱼或吃鱼。藏民也认为吃大型动物要比吃小型动物好,因为这样只需牺牲更少的生命而喂饱更多人。即使是家养的牦牛,人们也会选择一部分牦牛进行放生。这种敬畏自然、尊重生命的举措实际维护了藏区人与自然的和睦平衡关系,使得人们的生产生活能够与青藏高原较为脆弱的环境承载力相适应。

For example, people are absolutely forbidden to graze, hunt or throw garbage on sacred mountains, and they are not free to exploit various resources. People believe that river itself has a divine nature and fish is the incarnation of the water god, so one cannot catch or eat fish. Tibetans also believe that it is better to eat large animals than small ones, because this way only fewer lives are sacrificed while feeding more people. Even for domesticated yaks, people will choose some of them to be released. This reverence for nature and respect for life maintains the harmonious and balanced relationship between people and nature in Tibetan areas, allowing people to adapt their productive lives to the fragile environmental carrying capacity of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.


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可爱的初生小牛,被放生的牦牛将会在耳朵上系彩带 Cute newborn calf. Released yaks will have colored ribbons on their ears