China Pictorial (English)

Tibetan Clothing


Traditiona­lly, most Tibetan herders live on the vast and high-altitude grasslands of northern Tibet. On the windy, dusty, and brutally cold plateau, their clothing must not only keep out the wind and cold, but also feature practical functional­ity and a splendid appearance. Sheepskin from the grasslands of northern Tibet is a major material.

To meet the needs of traditiona­l nomadic lives of herders, large flaps and tight waists were designed to form a conspicuou­s gap (like a bag) in front of the chest to carry ghee, tsampa, tea, bowls, or even a baby on outdoor walking trips. When it is hot or when working, Tibetan people can roll up the entire right or both sleeves and tie the sleeves around the waist without having to take off the overcoat, which is very convenient.

Tibetan costumes feature many ornaments such as gold, silver, and jade on dark-colored fabrics. There are three types of costumes for Tibetan males: labor costumes, formal dress, and warrior costumes. Women wear magnificen­t costumes during festivals, major events, and ceremonies.

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