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The Tibetan people (; ) are an
East Asian East Asia is the eastern region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and ...
ethnic group
native Native may refer to: People * Jus soli, citizenship by right of birth * Indigenous peoples, peoples with a set of specific rights based on their historical ties to a particular territory ** Native Americans (disambiguation) In arts and entertain ...
to
Tibet Tibet (; ; ) is a region in East Asia covering much of the Tibetan Plateau spanning about . It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpa people, Monpa, Tamang people, Tamang, Qia ...

Tibet
. Their current population is estimated to be around 6.7 million. In addition to the majority living in
Tibet Autonomous Region The Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) or Xizang Autonomous Region, often shortened to Tibet or Xizang, is a province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , count ...
of
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

China
, significant numbers of Tibetans live in the Chinese provinces of
Gansu Gansu (, ; alternately romanized as Kansu) is a landlocked province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnatio ...

Gansu
,
Qinghai Qinghai (; Chinese postal romanization, alternately romanized as Tsinghai, Ch'inghai), also known Kokonor, is a landlocked Provinces of China, province in Northwest China, the northwest of the China, People's Republic of China. It is one of ...

Qinghai
,
Sichuan Sichuan (; , ; alternatively romanized as Szechuan or Szechwan) is a landlocked province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, admini ...

Sichuan
and
Yunnan Yunnan () is a landlocked Provinces of China, province in Southwest China, the southwest of the People's Republic of China. The province spans approximately and has a population of 48.3 million (as of 2018). The capital of the province is Ku ...

Yunnan
, as well as in
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...
,
Nepal Nepal (; ne, नेपाल ), officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal ( ne, सङ्घीय लोकतान्त्रिक गणतन्त्र नेपाल ), is a landlocked country in South Asia. It is ma ...

Nepal
and
Bhutan Bhutan (; dz, འབྲུག་ཡུལ་, Druk Yul, ), officially known as the Kingdom of Bhutan ( dz, འབྲུག་རྒྱལ་ཁབ་, Druk Gyal Khap), is a landlocked country in the Eastern Himalayas. It is bordered by Chin ...

Bhutan
. Tibetan languages belong to the Tibeto-Burman language group. The traditional or mythological, explanation of the Tibetan people's origin is that they are the descendants of the human
Pha Trelgen Changchup Sempa thumbnail, 300px, "Pa Drengen Changchop Simpa" in Tibetan Pha Trelgen Changchup Sempa is a mythical monkey-ancestor of the Tibetan people. With King Gesar and Avalokiteśvara, of whom he is an incarnation, he is one of the most important figures ...

Pha Trelgen Changchup Sempa
and rock
ogre An ogre (feminine Femininity (also called womanliness or girlishness) is a set of attributes, behaviors, and roles generally associated with and s. Although think of femininity as , there is also widespread recognition that some behavio ...

ogre
ss Ma Drag Sinmo. It is thought that most of the Tibeto-Burman speakers in Southwest China, including Tibetans, are direct descendants from the ancient Qiang people. Most Tibetans practice
Tibetan Buddhism Tibetan Buddhism (also referred to as Indo-Tibetan Buddhism, Himalayan Buddhism, and Northern Buddhism) is the form of Buddhism practiced in Tibet and Bhutan, where it is the dominant religion. It also has adherents in the regions surrounding ...
, although some observe the indigenous
Bon Bon, also spelled Bön () is considered to be the native pre-Buddhist religious tradition of Tibet. A distinction is sometimes made between: # the Old Bon or Bön nying (), dating back to the pre-dynastic era; # the Eternal Bon or Yungdrung B ...

Bon
religion and there is a small
Muslim Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", ...
minority. Tibetan Buddhism influences
Tibetan art and canopies within geometric designs. Primary to this woodcarvings rich appointment of iconography, are the auspicious symbols (ashtamangala) including: the "Precious Umbrella" that symbolizes the wholesome activity of preserving beings from harmfu ...
, drama and architecture, while the harsh
geography of Tibet The geography of Tibet consists of the high mountains, lakes and rivers lying between Central, East East is one of the four cardinal direction The four cardinal directions, or cardinal points, are the directions north North is one of th ...
has produced an adaptive culture of
Tibetan medicine Traditional Tibetan medicine (), also known as Sowa-Rigpa medicine, is a centuries-old traditional medical system that employs a complex approach to diagnosis, incorporating techniques such as pulse analysis and urinalysis, and utilizes behavior a ...
and
cuisine A cuisine is a style of cooking characterized by distinctive ingredients, List of cooking techniques, techniques and dish (food), dishes, and usually associated with a specific culture or geographic region. Regional food preparation traditions ...

cuisine
.


Demographics

As of the 2014 Census, there are about 6 million Tibetans living in the
Tibet Autonomous Region The Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) or Xizang Autonomous Region, often shortened to Tibet or Xizang, is a province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , count ...
and the 10 Tibetan autonomous prefectures in the provinces of
Gansu Gansu (, ; alternately romanized as Kansu) is a landlocked province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnatio ...

Gansu
,
Qinghai Qinghai (; Chinese postal romanization, alternately romanized as Tsinghai, Ch'inghai), also known Kokonor, is a landlocked Provinces of China, province in Northwest China, the northwest of the China, People's Republic of China. It is one of ...

Qinghai
, Yunnan and
Sichuan Sichuan (; , ; alternatively romanized as Szechuan or Szechwan) is a landlocked province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, admini ...

Sichuan
. The
SIL Ethnologue ''Ethnologue: Languages of the World'' (stylized as Ethnoloɠue) is an annual reference publication in print and online that provides statistics and other information on the living languages of the world. It was first issued in 1951, and is now ...
in 2009 documents an additional 189,000
Tibetic The Tibetan languages are a cluster of Tibeto-Burman languages descended from Old Tibetan, spoken across the Himalayan Massif, including the Tibetan Plateau and the Himalayas in Baltistan, Ladakh, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh ...
speakers living in
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...

India
, 5,280 in
Nepal Nepal (; ne, नेपाल ), officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal ( ne, सङ्घीय लोकतान्त्रिक गणतन्त्र नेपाल ), is a landlocked country in South Asia. It is ma ...

Nepal
and 4,800 in
Bhutan Bhutan (; dz, འབྲུག་ཡུལ་, Druk Yul, ), officially known as the Kingdom of Bhutan ( dz, འབྲུག་རྒྱལ་ཁབ་, Druk Gyal Khap), is a landlocked country in the Eastern Himalayas. It is bordered by Chin ...

Bhutan
. The
Central Tibetan Administration The Central Tibetan Administration (, , translated as ''Exile Tibetan People's Organisation'') is Tibet's elected parliamentary government based in Dharamshala, India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a cou ...
's (CTA) Green Book (of the
Tibetan Government in Exile The Central Tibetan Administration (, , translated as ''Exile Tibetan People's Organisation'') is Tibet's elected parliamentary government based in Dharamshala, India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a cou ...
) counts 145,150 Tibetans outside Tibet: a little over 100,000 in India; over 16,000 in Nepal; over 1,800 in Bhutan, and over 25,000 in other parts of the world. There are Tibetan communities in the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
,
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
,
Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles) and with over 211 mill ...

Brazil
,
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, ...

Canada
,
Costa Rica Costa Rica (, ; ; literally "Rich Coast"), officially the Republic of Costa Rica ( es, República de Costa Rica), is a country in Central America Central America ( es, América Central, , ''Centroamérica'' ) is a region of the Amer ...

Costa Rica
,
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses ...

France
,
Mexico Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organi ...

Mexico
,
Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway,Names in the official and recognised languages: Bokmål Bokmål (, ; literally "book tongue") is an official written standard for the Norwegian language Norwegian (Norwegian: ''norsk'') is a Nort ...

Norway
,
Mongolia Mongolia (, mn, Монгол Улс, Mongol Uls, Mongolian script, Traditional Mongolian: '; literal translation, lit. "Mongol Nation" or "State of Mongolia") is a landlocked country in East Asia. It is bordered by Russia Mongolia–Russia ...

Mongolia
, Germany,
Switzerland , french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = Federalism, Federal semi-direct democracy under an assembly-independent Directorial system, directorial republic , leader_title1 = Fe ...

Switzerland
and the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
. In the
Baltistan Baltistan ( ur, , bft, སྦལ་ཏི་སྟཱན, script=Tibt), also known as Baltiyul or Little Tibet ( bft, སྦལ་ཏི་ཡུལ་།, script=Tibt), is a mountainous region in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan-administered Kashmi ...

Baltistan
region of Northern Pakistan, the Balti people are a Muslim ethnicity of Tibetan descent numbering around 300,000. There is some dispute over the current and historical number of Tibetans. The
Central Tibetan Administration The Central Tibetan Administration (, , translated as ''Exile Tibetan People's Organisation'') is Tibet's elected parliamentary government based in Dharamshala, India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a cou ...
claims that the 5.4 million number is a decrease from 6.3 million in 1959 while the Chinese government claims that it is an increase from 2.7 million in 1954. However, the question depends on the definition and extent of "Tibet"; the region claimed by the CTA is
more expansive
more expansive
and China more diminutive. Also, the Tibetan administration did not take a formal
census A census is the procedure of systematically calculating, acquiring and recording information Information is processed, organised and structured data Data (; ) are individual facts, statistics, or items of information, often numeric. In ...

census
of its territory in the 1950s; the numbers provided by the administration at the time were "based on informed guesswork". Officials of the People's Republic of China has attributed growth of the Tibetan population to the improved quality of health and lifestyle of the average Tibetan since the
Seventeen Point Agreement The Seventeen Point Agreement, also called the Agreement of the Central People's Government and the Local Government of Tibet on Measures for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet, or the Seventeen Point Agreement for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet ...
in 1951. According to Chinese sources, the death rate of women in childbirth dropped from 5,000 per 100,000 in 1951 to 174.78 per 100,000 in 2010, the
infant mortality Infant mortality is the death of young children under the age of 1. This death toll is measured by the infant mortality rate (IMR), which is the probability of deaths of children under one year of age per 1000 live births. The under-five mortali ...

infant mortality
rate dropped from 430 infant deaths per 1,000 in 1951 to 20.69 per 1,000 by the year of 2010 (infant mortality in China as a whole was officially rated at 14 per 1,000 in 2010). The average life expectancy for Tibetans rose from 35.5 years in 1951 to over 67 years by the end of 2010.


In China

According to the
Sixth National Population Census of the People's Republic of China Sixth is the ordinal form of the number six. * The Sixth Amendment, to the U.S. Constitution * A keg . A keg is a small barrel A barrel or cask is a hollow cylindrical container with a bulging center, longer than it is wide. They are tra ...
(2010), there are 6,282,187 Tibetans nationwide: There are 2,716,388 people in the
Tibet Autonomous Region The Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) or Xizang Autonomous Region, often shortened to Tibet or Xizang, is a province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , count ...
, 1,496,524 people in Sichuan Province, 1,375,059 people in Qinghai Province, 488,359 people in Gansu Province (mostly in
Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture Gānnán Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (; ) is an autonomous prefecture in southern Gansu, Gansu Province, China. It includes Xiahe and the Labrang Monastery, Luqu, Maqu and other mostly Tibetan towns and villages. Gannan has an area of and its c ...
and
Bairi Tibetan Autonomous County Bairi (Tianzhu) Tibetan Autonomous County (; ) is in the prefecture-level city of Wuwei, Gansu, Wuwei in the central part of Gansu province, China, bordering Qinghai province to the south and west. It has an area of and approximately 230,000 inhab ...
) and 142,257 people in Yunnan Province (mostly in
Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (; ) is an autonomous prefecture in Northwestern Yunnan Province, China. It has an area of . Its capital, which is also the largest city in the prefecture, is Shangri-La City. This prefecture of Yunnan Prov ...
). Tibetans account for 0.47% of the total population of the country. Tibetans account for 90.48% of the total population in Tibet Region, 24.44% of the total population of Qinghai and 1.86% of the total population in Sichuan. Of all Tibetans in China, 315,622 people live in cities, 923,177 in towns, and 5,043,388 people (80.3%) live in rural areas.


In India

In India Tibetic people are found in the regions of
Ladakh Ladakh () is a region administered by India as a union territory, and constitutes a part of the larger Kashmir region, which has been the subject of dispute between India, Pakistan, and China since 1947. (subscription required) Quote: "Jammu ...

Ladakh
(Ladakhi and Balti),
Spiti valley Spiti Valley (pronounced as Piti in Bhoti Language) is a cold desert mountain valley located high in the Himalayas in the north-eastern part of the North India, northern States and territories of India, Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The nam ...

Spiti valley
,
Uttarakhand Uttarakhand ( , or ; , lit. 'Northern Land'), formerly known as Uttaranchal ( ), is a state in the northern part of India. It is often referred to as the "Devbhumi" (literally "Land of the Gods") due to its religious significance and numerous ...

Uttarakhand
(
Bhotiya Bhotiya or Bhot ( ne, भोटिया, ) are groups of ethno-linguistically related Tibetan people living in the Transhimalaya The Transhimalaya (also spelled Trans-Himalaya), or "Gangdise – Nyenchen Tanglha range", is a mountain range ...
),
Sikkim Sikkim (; ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in ...

Sikkim
(
Bhutia The Bhutia (; sip, Drenjongpa / Drenjop ; ; "inhabitants of Sikkim"; in Bhutan Bhutan (; dz, འབྲུག་ཡུལ་, Druk Yul, ), officially known as the Kingdom of Bhutan ( dz, འབྲུག་རྒྱལ་ཁབ་, Dru ...
), and
Arunachal Pradesh Arunachal Pradesh (, literally "land of dawn-lit mountains") is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ...

Arunachal Pradesh
( Khamba,
Lhoba Lhoba (English translation: ; ; bo, ལྷོ་པ།) is any of a diverse amalgamation of Sino-Tibetan-speaking tribespeople living in and around Pemako, a region in southeastern Tibet including Mainling, Medog and Zayü counties of Nyingchi ...
and
Monpa people The Monpa or Mönpa (; ) is a major tribe of Arunachal Pradesh in northeastern India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, seco ...
). There are also nearly 100,000 Tibetans living in exile in India since 1959. The majority of them living in Tibetan enclaves such as
Dharamshala Dharamshala (; also spelled Dharamsala) is the winter capital city of Himachal Pradesh Himachal Pradesh (; ; "Province of the Snow-laden Mountains") is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Ma ...

Dharamshala
and
Bylakuppe Bylakuppe is an area in Karnataka Karnataka (; ISO The International Organization for Standardization (ISO; ) is an international standard are technical standards developed by international organizations (intergovernmental organi ...

Bylakuppe
.


In Nepal

Tibetans are known as
Bhotiya Bhotiya or Bhot ( ne, भोटिया, ) are groups of ethno-linguistically related Tibetan people living in the Transhimalaya The Transhimalaya (also spelled Trans-Himalaya), or "Gangdise – Nyenchen Tanglha range", is a mountain range ...
s in Nepal, where they are majority in regions such as
Upper Mustang Upper Mustang (formerly Kingdom of Lo) is an upper part (Northern area) of Mustang District, which is located in Nepal Nepal (; ne, नेपाल ), officially Nepal, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country in South Asia. It is mainly in ...

Upper Mustang
, Dolpo, Walung region and Limi valley. Nepal is also home to other Tibetic people such as the Sherpa and Thakali. There are also more than 10,000 Tibetan refugees in Nepal.


Language

The Tibetic languages () are a cluster of mutually unintelligible
Sino-Tibetan languages Sino-Tibetan, also known as Trans-Himalayan in a few sources, is a family In , family (from la, familia) is a of people related either by (by recognized birth) or (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose of families is to maint ...

Sino-Tibetan languages
spoken by approximately 8 million people, primarily Tibetan, living across a wide area of
East East or Orient is one of the four cardinal direction The four cardinal directions, or cardinal points, are the directions , , , and , commonly denoted by their initials N, E, S, and W. East and west are (at s) to north and south, with east ...

East
and
South Asia South Asia is the southern region of Asia Asia () is 's largest and most populous , located primarily in the and . It shares the continental of with the continent of and the continental landmass of with both Europe and . Asia cov ...

South Asia
, including the
Tibetan Plateau The Tibetan Plateau (, also known as the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau or the Qing–Zang Plateau () or as the Himalayan Plateau in India, is a vast elevated plateau In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and - ...
and
Baltistan Baltistan ( ur, , bft, སྦལ་ཏི་སྟཱན, script=Tibt), also known as Baltiyul or Little Tibet ( bft, སྦལ་ཏི་ཡུལ་།, script=Tibt), is a mountainous region in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan-administered Kashmi ...

Baltistan
,
Ladakh Ladakh () is a region administered by India as a union territory, and constitutes a part of the larger Kashmir region, which has been the subject of dispute between India, Pakistan, and China since 1947. (subscription required) Quote: "Jammu ...

Ladakh
, Nepal,
Sikkim Sikkim (; ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in ...

Sikkim
, and Bhutan.
Classical Tibetan Classical Tibetan refers to the language of any text written in Tibetic The Tibetan languages are a cluster of Tibeto-Burman languages descended from Old Tibetan, spoken across the Himalayan Massif, including the Tibetan Plateau and the Himalaya ...
is a major regional literary language, particularly for its use in
Buddhist Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, an ...

Buddhist
literature. The Central Tibetan language (the dialects of
Ü-Tsang Ü-Tsang is one of the three traditional provinces of Tibet, the others being Amdo in the north-east, and Kham in the east. Ngari (including former Guge kingdom) in the north-west was incorporated into Ü-Tsang. Geographically Ü-Tsang covered ...
, including
Lhasa Lhasa (; Lhasa dialect: ; bo, text=ལྷ་ས, translation=Place of Gods) is the urban center of the prefecture-level city, prefecture-level Lhasa (prefecture-level city), Lhasa City and the administrative capital of Tibet. The inner urban ...

Lhasa
),
Khams Tibetan Khams Tibetan () is the Tibetic languages, Tibetic language used by the majority of the people in Kham. Khams is one of the three branches of the traditional classification of Tibetic languages (the other two being Amdo Tibetan and Ü-Tsang). In ...
, and
Amdo Tibetan The Amdo Tibetan (; also called ''Am kä'') is the Tibetic language spoken by the majority of Amdowa, mainly in Qinghai Qinghai (; alternately romanized as Tsinghai, Ch'inghai), also called Kokonur, is a landlocked province A province is a ...
are generally considered to be dialects of a single language, especially since they all share the same literary language, while
Dzongkha Dzongkha (, ) is a Sino-Tibetan languages, Sino-Tibetan language spoken by over half a million people in Bhutan; it is the country's sole official and national language. The Tibetan script is used to write Dzongkha. The word ''dzongkha'' means ...

Dzongkha
, Sikkimese,
Sherpa
Sherpa
, and Ladakhi are generally considered to be separate languages. Although some of the
Qiang people The Qiang people ( Qiangic: ''Rrmea''; ) are an ethnic group in China. They form one of the 56 ethnic groups officially recognised by the People's Republic of China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a co ...
s of Kham are classified by China as ethnic Tibetans, the
Qiangic languages Qiangic (''Ch'iang, Kyang, Tsiang'', Chinese: 羌語支, "''Qiang'' language group"; formerly known as Dzorgaic) is a group of related languages within the Sino-Tibetan language family Sino-Tibetan, also known as Trans-Himalayan in a few source ...
are ''not'' Tibetic, but rather form their own branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family.


Ethnic origins


Genetics

Modern Tibetan populations are genetically most similar to other modern
East Asian East Asia is the eastern region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and ...
populations. They show relatively more genetic affinity for modern
Central Asian Central Asia is a region in Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and Northern Hemisphere, Northern Hemisphere of the Earth, Hemispheres. It shares the continent ...
than modern Siberian populations. They also share genetic affinity for
South Asians South Asian ethnic groups are ethnolinguistic composition of the diverse population of South Asia South Asia is the southern region of Asia, which is defined in both geography, geographical and culture, ethno-cultural terms. The region cons ...
. Tibetan people are genetically most closely related to
Han Chinese The Han Chinese (), or the Han people (), is an East Asian East Asia is the east East is one of the four cardinal direction The four cardinal directions, or cardinal points, are the directions north North is one of the four ...
,
Bhutan Bhutan (; dz, འབྲུག་ཡུལ་, Druk Yul, ), officially known as the Kingdom of Bhutan ( dz, འབྲུག་རྒྱལ་ཁབ་, Druk Gyal Khap), is a landlocked country in the Eastern Himalayas. It is bordered by Chin ...
ese. Tibetans predominantly belong to the paternal lineage O-M175. Another study by Yang et al. 2017 found that Tibetans are genetically closely related to other . Released in 2010 by
University of California, Berkeley The University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley, Berkeley, Cal, or California) is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization ...

University of California, Berkeley
, a study identified more than 30 genetic factors that make Tibetans' bodies well-suited for high-altitudes, including
EPAS1 Endothelial PAS domain-containing protein 1 (EPAS1, also known as hypoxia-inducible factor-2alpha (HIF-2alpha)) is a protein Proteins are large biomolecule , showing alpha helices, represented by ribbons. This poten was the first to have i ...
, referred to as the "super-athlete gene" which regulates the body's production of hemoglobin, allowing for greater efficiency in the use of oxygen. The genetic basis of Tibetan adaptations have been attributed to a mutation in the
EPAS1 Endothelial PAS domain-containing protein 1 (EPAS1, also known as hypoxia-inducible factor-2alpha (HIF-2alpha)) is a protein Proteins are large biomolecule , showing alpha helices, represented by ribbons. This poten was the first to have i ...
gene, and has become prevalent in the past 3,000 years. Genetic studies shows that many of the Sherpa people have allele frequencies which are often found in other Tibeto-Burman regions, in tested genes, the strongest affinity was for Tibetan population sample studies done in the Tibet Autonomous Region. Genetically, the Sherpa cluster closest with the sample Tibetan and Han populations. Additionally, the Sherpa had exhibited affinity for several Nepalese populations, with the strongest for the Rai people, followed by the Magars and the Tamang people, Tamang. This article contains quotations from this source, which is available under the creativecommons:by/4.0/, Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license. Recent research into the ability of Tibetans' metabolism to function normally in the oxygen-deficient atmosphere above shows that, although Tibetans living at high altitudes have no more oxygen in their blood than other people, they have ten times more nitric oxide and double the forearm blood flow of low-altitude dwellers. Tibetans inherited this adaptation due to their Denisovan admixture. Nitric oxide causes dilation of blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more freely to the extremities and aids the release of oxygen to tissues. Modern Tibetans formed from Ancient Tibetan Highlanders (also known as "East Asian Highlanders") native to the
Tibetan Plateau The Tibetan Plateau (, also known as the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau or the Qing–Zang Plateau () or as the Himalayan Plateau in India, is a vast elevated plateau In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and - ...
and a region up to the southern Altai Mountains, and from East Asian lowland farmers expanding from the Yellow River. Although "East Asian Highlanders" (associated with haplogroup D1) are closely related to East Asian lowland farmers (associated with Haplogroup O-M175, haplogroup O), they form a divergent sister branch to them. A 2019 study by Wang et al., published in the journal Nature (journal), Nature, similarly concluded that modern Tibetans (and closely related Tibeto-Burmese) formed from "East Asian Highlanders" and agriculturalists from the Yellow river. They further found evidence for geneflow from this ancient "East Asian Highlanders" into some populations in Southeast Asia and Japan. By comparing Tibetans to modern worldwide populations it was found that Tibetans are very closely related to other East Asians, especially Chinese and Japanese respectively. Geneflow from Tibetan-like ancestry into West Asia and Northeastern Africa was also found, however this may be caused by relative small sample size from these regions.


Mythology

According to Tibetan mythology, the origins of Tibetans are said to be rooted in the marriage of the monkey
Pha Trelgen Changchup Sempa thumbnail, 300px, "Pa Drengen Changchop Simpa" in Tibetan Pha Trelgen Changchup Sempa is a mythical monkey-ancestor of the Tibetan people. With King Gesar and Avalokiteśvara, of whom he is an incarnation, he is one of the most important figures ...

Pha Trelgen Changchup Sempa
and rock
ogre An ogre (feminine Femininity (also called womanliness or girlishness) is a set of attributes, behaviors, and roles generally associated with and s. Although think of femininity as , there is also widespread recognition that some behavio ...

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ss Ma Drag Sinmo.


Religion

Most Tibetans generally observe
Tibetan Buddhism Tibetan Buddhism (also referred to as Indo-Tibetan Buddhism, Himalayan Buddhism, and Northern Buddhism) is the form of Buddhism practiced in Tibet and Bhutan, where it is the dominant religion. It also has adherents in the regions surrounding ...
or a collection of native traditions known as Bön (also absorbed into mainstream Tibetan Buddhism). There is a minority Tibetan Muslims, Tibetan Muslim population. There is also a small Tibetan Christians, Christian population in the eastern Tibet and northwestern Yunnan of China. Also there are some Tibetan Hindus who mainly live in China, India and Nepal. According to legend, the 28th king of Tibet, Thothori Nyantsen, dreamed of a sacred treasure falling from heaven, which contained a Buddhist sutra, mantras, and religious objects. However, because the Tibetan script had not been invented, the text could not be translated in writing and no one initially knew what was written in it. Buddhism did not take root in
Tibet Tibet (; ; ) is a region in East Asia covering much of the Tibetan Plateau spanning about . It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpa people, Monpa, Tamang people, Tamang, Qia ...

Tibet
until the reign of Songtsän Gampo, who married two Buddhist princesses, Bhrikuti of Nepal and Princess Wencheng, Wencheng of China. It then gained popularity when Padmasambhava, Padmasambhāva visited
Tibet Tibet (; ; ) is a region in East Asia covering much of the Tibetan Plateau spanning about . It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpa people, Monpa, Tamang people, Tamang, Qia ...

Tibet
at the invitation of the 38th Tibetan king, Trisong Deutson. Today, one can see Tibetans placing Mani stones prominently in public places. Tibetan lamas, both Buddhist and Bön, play a major role in the lives of the Tibetan people, conducting religious ceremonies and taking care of the monasteries. Pilgrims plant prayer flags over sacred grounds as a symbol of good luck. The prayer wheel is a means of simulating the chant of a mantra by physically revolving the object several times in a clockwise direction. It is widely seen among Tibetan people. In order not to desecrate religious artifacts such as Stupas, mani stones, and Gompas, Tibetan Buddhists walk around them in a clockwise direction, although the reverse direction is true for Bön. Tibetan Buddhists chant the prayer "Om mani padme hum", while the practitioners of Bön chant "Om matri muye sale du".


Culture

Tibet is rich in culture. Tibetan festivals such as Losar, Shoton, Linka (festival), Linka, and the Bathing Festival are deeply rooted in indigenous religion and also contain foreign influences. Each person takes part in the Bathing Festival three times: at birth, at marriage, and at death.


Art

Tibetan art and canopies within geometric designs. Primary to this woodcarvings rich appointment of iconography, are the auspicious symbols (ashtamangala) including: the "Precious Umbrella" that symbolizes the wholesome activity of preserving beings from harmfu ...
is deeply religious in nature, from the exquisitely detailed statues found in Gonpas to wooden carvings and the intricate designs of the Thangka paintings. Tibetan art can be found in almost every object and every aspect of daily life. Thangka paintings, a syncretism of Indian scroll-painting with Nepalese and Kashmiri painting, appeared in Tibet around the 8th century. Rectangular and painted on cotton or linen, they usually depict traditional motifs including religious, astrological, and theological subjects, and sometimes a mandala. To ensure that the image will not fade, organic and mineral pigments are added, and the painting is framed in colorful silk brocades.


Drama

Tibetan folk opera, known as lhamo, is a combination of dances, chants and songs. The repertoire is drawn from Buddhist stories and Tibetan history. Tibetan opera was founded in the fourteenth century by Thang Tong Gyalpo, a lama and a bridge-builder. Gyalpo and seven girls he recruited organized the first performance to raise funds for building bridges to facilitate transportation in Tibet. The tradition continued uninterrupted for nearly seven hundred years, and performances are held on various festive occasions such as the Lingka and Shoton festival. The performance is usually a drama, held on a barren stage that combines dances, chants, and songs. Colorful masks are sometimes worn to identify a character, with red symbolizing a king and yellow indicating deities and lamas. The performance starts with a stage purification and blessings. A narrator then sings a summary of the story, and the performance begins. Another ritual blessing is conducted at the end of the play. There are also many historical myths/epics written by high lamas about the reincarnation of a "chosen one" who will do great things.


Architecture

The most unusual feature of Tibetan architecture is that many of the houses and monasteries are built on elevated, sunny sites facing the south. They are commonly made of a mixture of rocks, wood, cement and earth. Little fuel is available for heating or lighting, so flat roofs are built to conserve heat, and multiple windows are constructed to let in sunlight. Walls are usually sloped inwards at 10 degrees as a precaution against frequent earthquakes in the mountainous area. Tibetan homes and buildings are white-washed on the outside, and beautifully decorated inside. Standing at in height and in width, the Potala Palace is considered the most important example of Tibetan architecture. Formerly the residence of the Dalai Lama, it contains over a thousand rooms within thirteen stories and houses portraits of the past Dalai Lamas and statues of the Buddha. It is divided between the outer White Palace, which serves as the administrative quarters, and the inner Red Quarters, which houses the assembly hall of the Lamas, chapels, 10,000 shrines, and a vast library of Buddhist scriptures.


Medicine

Traditional Tibetan medicine utilizes up to two thousand types of plants, forty animal species, and fifty minerals. One of the key figures in its development was the renowned 8th century physician Yuthog Yontan Gonpo, who produced the Four Medical Tantras integrating material from the medical traditions of Persia, India and China. The tantras contained a total of 156 chapters in the form of Thangkas, which tell about the archaic Tibetan medicine and the essences of medicines in other places. Yutok Yonten Gonpo's descendant, Yuthok Sarma Yonten Gonpo, further consolidated the tradition by adding eighteen medical works. One of his books includes paintings depicting the resetting of a broken bone. In addition, he compiled a set of anatomical pictures of internal organs.


Cuisine

The Cuisine of Tibet reflects the rich heritage of the country and people's adaptation to high altitude and religious culinary restrictions. The most important crop is barley. Dough made from barley flour, called tsampa, is the staple food of
Tibet Tibet (; ; ) is a region in East Asia covering much of the Tibetan Plateau spanning about . It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpa people, Monpa, Tamang people, Tamang, Qia ...

Tibet
. This is either rolled into noodles or made into steamed dumplings called momo (food), momos. Meat dishes are likely to be yak, goat or mutton, often dried or cooked into a spicy stew with potatoes. Mustard seed is cultivated in Tibet and therefore features heavily in its cuisine. Yak yogurt, butter and cheese are frequently eaten and well-prepared yogurt is considered something of a prestige item.


Clothing

Many Tibetans wear their hair long, although in recent times due to Chinese influence, most men do crop their hair short. The women braid their hair into multiple tiny braids called "Rhe-Ba" or just simply put their hair up in a braid or pony-tail in more rural areas. In more urban areas, women wear many different kinds of hairstyles such as pony-tails, braids, buns or just leaving it down. Some men and women wear long thick dresses (''chuba'') in more traditional and rural regions. The men wear a shorter version with pants underneath. The style of the clothing varies between regions. Nomads often wear thick sheepskin versions. In more urban places like Lhasa, men and women dress in modern clothing, and many choose to wear chuba during festivals and holidays like Losar.


Literature

Tibet has national literature that has both religious, semi-spiritual and secular elements. While the religious texts are well-known, Tibet is also home to the semi-spiritual Epic of King Gesar, Gesar Epic, which is the longest epic in the world and is popular throughout Mongolia and Central Asia. There are secular texts such as ''The Dispute Between Tea and Chang'' (Tibetan beer) and ''Khache Phalu's Advice''.


Marriage customs

Monogamy is common throughout Tibet. Marriages are sometimes arranged by the parents if the son or daughter has not picked their own partner by a certain age. However, polyandry is practiced in parts of Tibet. This is usually done to avoid division of property and provide financial security.Stein (1978), pp. 97–98.


List of Tibetan states

*Zhangzhung Kingdom (500 BC–625) *Yarlung Dynasty (?–618) (semi-mythological) *Tibetan Empire (618–842) *Kingdom of Bumthang (7th century–17th century) *Guge Kingdom (842–1630) *Burang County, Purang Kingdom *Maryul (930-1500) *Tsongkha Kingdom (997–1099) (Amdo) *Phagmodrupa Dynasty (1354–1618) (Ü-Tsang) *Rinpungpa Dynasty (1435–1565) (Tsang) *Tsangpa Dynasty (1565–1642) (Tsang) *Ganden Phodrang (1642–1959) *Namgyal dynasty of Ladakh, Namgyal Dynasty (1460–1842) (Ladakh) *Chogyal, Chogyal Namgyal dynasty of Kingdom of Sikkim, Sikkim (1642–1975) *Tibet (1912–51)


Kingdoms of Kham

*Nyarong, Nyagrong Kingdom (?–1865) *Kingdom of Powo (?–1928) *Nangqên County, Nangcheng Kingdom (?–1928) *Chiefdom of Lithang, Litang Kingdom (?–1950) *Kingdom of Lingtsang (12th century–1950) *Kingdom of Derge (15th century–1956) *Hor States (Horpa) *Chiefdom of Bathang


Gyalrong people, Gyalrong Kingdoms

*Kingdom of Chakla (1407–1950) *Chiefdom of Chuchen *Chiefdom of Tsanlha


See also

*History of Tibet *Timeline of Tibetan history *Flag of Tibet *Sumpa *
Upper Mustang Upper Mustang (formerly Kingdom of Lo) is an upper part (Northern area) of Mustang District, which is located in Nepal Nepal (; ne, नेपाल ), officially Nepal, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country in South Asia. It is mainly in ...

Upper Mustang
*Sherpa people *Baima people * Balti people *Bhotias and
Bhutia The Bhutia (; sip, Drenjongpa / Drenjop ; ; "inhabitants of Sikkim"; in Bhutan Bhutan (; dz, འབྲུག་ཡུལ་, Druk Yul, ), officially known as the Kingdom of Bhutan ( dz, འབྲུག་རྒྱལ་ཁབ་, Dru ...
*Burig *Lepcha people *Limbu people *Lhoba people *Monpa people, Monpa Tibetan *Thakali people *Changpa, Changpa people *Golok people *Wutun people *Tibetan Muslims *Tibetan diaspora *Tibetan Americans *
Central Tibetan Administration The Central Tibetan Administration (, , translated as ''Exile Tibetan People's Organisation'') is Tibet's elected parliamentary government based in Dharamshala, India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a cou ...
*Tibetan independence movement *Anti-Tibetan Sentiment


References


Citations


Sources

* * Goldstein, Melvyn C., "Study of the Family structure in Tibet", ''Natural History'', March 1987: 109–112.

on the Internet Archive). * Stein, R.A. (1972). ''Tibetan Civilization''. J.E. Stapleton Driver (trans.). Stanford University Press. (paper); . * Su, Bing, ''et al.'
"Y chromosome haplotypes reveal prehistorical migrations to the Himalayas"
''Human Genetics'' 107, 2000: 582–590.


External links



article on Tibetan people at the time of early mountaineering from the Royal Geographical Society
Tibetan costume
from china.org.cn
Rukor where the world discusses the fate of the nomads

Map share of ethnic by county of China
{{DEFAULTSORT:Tibetan People Tibetan people, Ethnic groups officially recognized by China Indigenous peoples of East Asia Tibet