yak earrings and rings
febbraio 19, 2019

Yaks and Yak bones in Tibetan Culture

The yak, is a long-haired bovine found throughout the Himalayan region of south Central Asia, the Tibetan   Plateau and  as far north as Mongolia.

This kind of animal is built to survive tough environments. Yaks have three times more red blood cells than normal cows, so they can live without any problems on the high elevation grasslands of Tibet. Their long, thick hair insulates their bodies from winter temperatures that can get to -30°C or colder.

Tibetans have a long history of raising yaks. Experts believe that yaks were first domesticated in Tibet at least 3000 years ago. They are sturdy, sure-footed and perfect for using as pack animals to cross high mountain passes. They can easily carry loads of 70 kg along rough and steep mountain trails. Yaks are the most important animals to the Tibetan people. Nomads keep yaks in herds between 20 and 100. Dried yak dung is used as fuel for fires since it is lack of trees in Tibet.
Yak hair is woven into yarn and used to make tents and rope. Yak hide is used to make boots and boats. Yak meat is eaten by nearly every Tibetan family. Yak milk is high in fat and is usually made into butter, yogurt and cheese.

Yak is therefore a highly valued and appreciated animal. It is not only their Buddhist belief causing that the bones are never gained by killing the animals! Tibetans always use the remains of bones from naturally dead animals or the ones for meat consumption and they are very keen on the ethics of products, respecting the animals. That's why yak is a valuable animal and his bones are used to make decorations, jewelry and accessories that remind people of instability and death which suppose to make them more humble.