The Tibetan people (Tibetan: བོད་པ་, Wylie: bod pa, THL: bö pa, Chinese: 藏族) are an ethnic group native to Tibet. Their current population is estimated to be around 6.5 million. In addition to living in Tibet Autonomous Region, significant numbers of Tibetans live in other parts of China, as well as in India, Nepal, Bhutan and the western world.
Tibetans speak Tibetan languages, many varieties of which are mutually unintelligible, which belongs 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 and rock ogress 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, although some observe the indigenous Bon religion and there is a small Muslim minority. Tibetan Buddhism influences Tibetan art, drama and architecture, while the harsh geography of Tibet has produced an adaptive culture of Tibetan medicine and cuisine.
བོད་པ་, bod pa, 藏族
|c. 6.5 million|
|Regions with significant populations|
|New Zealand||66 (2006)|
|Predominantly Tibetan Buddhism; minorities of Bon, Islam, Christianity and Hinduism|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Tamang · Sherpa · Gurung · Qiang · Ngalop · Ladakhis · Baltis · Burig · Kachin · Yi · Bamar · Other Sino-Tibetan-speaking peoples|
As of the 2014 Census, there are about 6 million Tibetans living in the Tibet Autonomous Region and the 10 Tibetan Autonomous Prefectures in Gansu, Qinghai and Sichuan, China. The SIL Ethnologue in 2009 documents an additional 189,000 Tibetic speakers living in India, 5,280 in Nepal, and 4,800 in Bhutan. The Central Tibetan Administration's (CTA) Green Book (of the Tibetan Government in Exile) 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, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, France, Mexico, Norway, Mongolia, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. In the 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 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 and China more diminutive. Also, the Tibetan administration did not take a formal census of its territory in the 1950s; the numbers provided by the administration at the time were "based on informed guesswork".
PRC officials attribute growth of the Tibetan population to the improved quality of health and lifestyle of the average Tibetan since the beginning of reforms under the Chinese governance. 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 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.
The Tibetic languages (Tibetan: བོད་སྐད།) are a cluster of mutually unintelligible Sino-Tibetan languages spoken by approximately 8 million people, primarily Tibetan, living across a wide area of eastern Central Asia bordering the Indian subcontinent, including the Tibetan Plateau and Baltistan, Ladakh, Nepal, Sikkim, and Bhutan the northern Indian subcontinent. Classical Tibetan is a major regional literary language, particularly for its use in Buddhist literature.
The Central Tibetan language (the dialects of Ü-Tsang, including Lhasa), Khams Tibetan, and Amdo Tibetan are generally considered to be dialects of a single language, especially since they all share the same literary language, while Dzongkha, Sikkimese, Sherpa, and Ladakhi are generally considered to be separate languages.
Tibetans are phenotypically diverse, and exhibit high-altitude adaptations. The genetic basis of Tibetan adaptations have been attributed to a mutation in the EPAS1 gene, and has become prevalent in the past 3,000 years.
Recent research into the ability of Tibetans' metabolism to function normally in the oxygen-deficient atmosphere above 4,400 metres (14,400 ft) 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 thanks 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.
Released in 2010 by UCLA at Berkeley, a study identified more than 30 genetic factors that make Tibetans' bodies well-suited for high-altitudes, including EPAS1, referred to as the "super-athlete gene" which regulates the body's production of hemoglobin, allowing for greater efficiency in the use of oxygen.
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 Xizang Tibetan 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.
Most Tibetans generally observe Tibetan Buddhism or a collection of native traditions known as Bön (also absorbed into mainstream Tibetan Buddhism). There is a minority Tibetan Muslim population. There is also a small Tibetan 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 until the reign of Songtsän Gampo, who married two Buddhist princesses, Bhrikuti of Nepal and Wencheng of China. It then gained popularity when Padmasambhāva visited 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".
Tibet is rich in culture. Tibetan festivals such as Losar, Shoton, 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.
Tibetan art 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.
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.
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 117 metres (384 ft) in height and 360 metres (1,180 ft) 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.
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.
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. This is either rolled into noodles or made into steamed dumplings called 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.
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.
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 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.
Polyandry is practiced in parts of Tibet. This is usually done to avoid division of property and provide financial security. However, monogamy is more 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.
cites https://news.berkeley.edu/2010/07/01/tibetan_genome/ Tibetans adapted to high altitude in less than 3,000 years
Gedun Drupa (Tibetan: དགེ་འདུན་གྲུབ་པ།, Wylie: dge 'dun grub pa; 1391–1474) was considered posthumously to be the 1st Dalai Lama.Ancient One
The Ancient One is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. He was the mentor of Doctor Strange and was his predecessor as Sorcerer Supreme.
The character was voiced by Michael Ansara in the 1978 television film Dr. Strange. Tilda Swinton portrayed a female Celtic version of the character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films Doctor Strange (2016) and Avengers: Endgame (2019).Balti people
The Balti are an ethnic group of Tibetan descent with Dardic admixture who live in the Gilgit–Baltistan region of Pakistan and the Kargil region of India. Smaller populations are found in the Leh region; others are scattered in Pakistan's major urban centres of Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad/Rawalpindi.Drukpa Kunley
Drukpa Kunley (1455–1529), also known as Kunga Legpai Zangpo, Drukpa Kunleg (Tibetan: འབྲུག་པ་ཀུན་ལེགས་, Wylie: brug pa kun legs), and Kunga Legpa, the Madman of the Dragon Lineage (Tibetan: འབྲུག་སྨྱོན་ཀུན་དགའ་ལེགས་པ་, Wylie: brug smyon kun dga' legs pa), was a Buddhist monk and missionary in the Tibetan Mahamudra tradition, as well as a famous poet, and is often counted among the Nyönpa ("mad ones"). After undergoing training in Ralung Monastery under siddha Pema Lingpa, he introduced Buddhism to Bhutan and established the monastery of Chimi Lhakhang there in 1499.Dzongsar Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
Dzongsar Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö (c. 1893 – 1959) was a Tibetan lama, a master of many lineages, and a teacher of many of the major figures in 20th-century Tibetan Buddhism. Though he died in 1959 in Sikkim, and is not so well known in the West; he was a major proponent of the Rimé movement within Tibetan Buddhism, and had a profound influence on many of the Tibetan lamas teaching today.Jamgon Ju Mipham Gyatso
Jamgön Ju Mipham, or Mipham Jamyang Namgyal Gyamtso (1846–1912) (also known as "Mipham the Great") was a very influential philosopher and polymath of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. He wrote over 32 volumes on topics such as painting, poetics, sculpture, alchemy, medicine, logic, philosophy and tantra. Mipham's works are still central to the scholastic curriculum in Nyingma monasteries today. Mipham is also considered one of the leading figures in the Ri-me (non-sectarian) movement in Tibet.Kaluu
Kaluu is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.List of Lönchen of Tibetan Empire
Tibetan Empire had nine high ministers in court. The highest one was gung lön chen po (གུང་བློན་ཆེན་པོ, lön chen (བློན་ཆེན) for short), which could be translated into English as "Chief Minister" or "Prime minister".
The first Lönchen was appointed during Detrul Namshungtsen's reign. It was abolished before the Era of Fragmentation.
Here is a complete list of Lönchen according to The Old Tibetan Chronicle (P.T. 1287).Little Tibet, Toronto
Little Tibet is an Asian ethnic enclave within the neighbourhood of Parkdale in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The area bound by Queen St. W. to the north, the Gardiner Expressway to the west and south, and Atlantic Avenue to the east known for a large number of Tibetan emigres and Tibetan related businesses and restaurants. There is also a growing Tibetan community nearby in South Etobicoke.Almost 3,000 Tibetans moved to Toronto from 1998 to 2008 making the city the home of the largest Tibetan Canadian community in North America. More than half of the city's Tibetans settled in Parkdale according to the 2006 census.The centre of Little Tibet is six blocks of Queen Street West starting at Sorauren Avenue west towards Roncesvalles Avenue where there is a concentration of Tibetan restaurants and shops with varying Indian, Nepalese and Chinese influence depending on the owners. To the north in The Junction is the Riwoche Tibetan Buddhist Temple. Further west is the Tibetan Canadian Cultural Centre at 40 Titan Road which opened in 2007.Parkdale Collegiate Institute, on Jameson Avenue, has a 40% Tibetan student population, a demographic that continues to grow. In a study, Toronto journalist Patrick Cain found the name 'Tenzin' to be the most popular baby name in Parkdale, where Little Tibet is located.Milarepa
Jetsun Milarepa (Tibetan: རྗེ་བཙུན་མི་ལ་རས་པ, Wylie: rje btsun mi la ras pa, 1028/40–1111/23) was a Tibetan siddha, who famously was a murderer as a young man then turned to Buddhism to become an accomplished buddha despite his past. He is generally considered as one of Tibet's most famous yogis and poets, serving as an example for the Buddhist life. He was a student of Marpa Lotsawa, and a major figure in the history of the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism.Ngawang Namgyal
Ngawang Namgyal (later granted the honorific Zhabdrung Rinpoche approximately at whose feet one submits) (Tibetan: ཞབས་དྲུང་ངག་དབང་རྣམ་རྒྱལ་, Wylie: zhabs drung ngag dbang rnam rgyal; alternate spellings include Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel; 1594–1651) and known colloquially as the Bearded Lama, was a Tibetan Buddhist lama and the unifier of Bhutan as a nation-state. In addition to unifying the various warring fiefdoms for the first time in the 1630s, he also sought to create a distinct Bhutanese cultural identity separate from the Tibetan culture from which it was derived.Orgyen Chokgyur Lingpa
Chokgyur Lingpa or Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa (1829-1870) was a tertön or "treasure revealer" and contemporary of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and Jamgon Kongtrul. Regarded as one of the major tertöns in Tibetan history, his termas are widely practiced by both the Kagyu and Nyingma schools.
Chokgyur Lingpa was the "manifestation," meaning the reincarnation, of King Trisong Deutsen's son, Prince Damdzin. Another of his former lives was the great terton, Sangye Lingpa, who revealed the Lama Gongdu. Chokgyur Lingpa was the last of the 100 major tertons. He was the owner of seven transmissions and is regarded as the universal monarch of all tertons. One of the reasons for this is that no other terton has revealed a teaching that includes the Space Section (Longde) of Dzogchen. There are several Mind Section (Semde) revelations and all major tertons have revealed the Instruction Section (Mengagde), but only Chokgyur Lingpa transmitted the Space Section. This is why the Dzogchen Desum is considered the most extraordinary terma that he ever revealed.
Chokgyur Lingpa's main consort was Dechen Chodron (Lady Degah) and Padmasambhava predicted that his three children would be emanations of the three family lords: Avalokiteshvara, Manjushri and Vajrapani. I don't like saying this, for it may sound like I'm bragging about my family line, but such a prophecy does exist. The Manjushri emanation was supposed to be Wangchok Dorje, the Avalokiteshvara emanation Tsewang Norbu and the Vajrapani emanation my grandmother, Konchok Paldron.
Chokgyur Lingpa founded Neten Monastery in Nangchen in 1858. It is the seat of the Neten Chokling reincarnation line.Neten Chokling Rinpoche and Tsikey Chokling Rinpoche are the fourth reincarnations of Chokgyur Lingpa.
This lineage traces back to Trisong Detsen, the Tibetan king who invited Padmasambhava to Tibet.Patrul Rinpoche
Patrul Rinpoche (Wylie: dpal sprul rin po che) (1808–1887) was a prominent teacher and author of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism.Rangjung Dorje, 3rd Karmapa Lama
Rangjung Dorje (Wylie: rang 'byung rdo rje) (1284–1339) was the third Karmapa (head of the Karma Kagyu, the largest sub-school of the Kagyu) and an important figure in the history of Tibetan Buddhism, who helped to spread Buddha-nature teachings in Tibetan Buddhism.Rechung Dorje Drakpa
Rechung Dorje Drakpa (Tibetan: རས་ཆུང་རྡོ་རྗེ་གྲགས་པ་, Wylie: ras chung rdo rje grags pa, 1083/4-1161), known as Rechungpa, was one of the two most important students of the 11th century yogi and poet Milarepa and founder of the Shamngpa Kagyu lineage or Rechung lineage of the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. (The other student was Gampopa, founder of the Dagpo Kagyu).
Rechungpa was particularly important in the transmission of the cycle of esoteric teachings of the Cakrasaṃvara Tantra known as the Demchok Nyéngyü (Wylie: bde mchog snyan brgyud), Réchung Nyéngyü (Wylie: ras chung snyan brgyud).
Tibetan Buddhists believe Rechungpa compiled The Six Equal Tastes from Indian sources. The text was hidden by Rechungpa, later recovered as a terma by Tsangpa Gyare, who founded the Drukpa Lineage.
Rechungpa's student Gyalwa Kyang Tsangpa transmitted the Rechung Kagyu lineage to the 12th century yogini Machik Ongyo. This lineage has been similarly transmitted without interruption until the present time. For example, Changling Rinpoche XV is one of the few holders of this lineage today, though in western teaching contexts he more frequently covers material from the "Northern Treasures" lineage of the Nyingma, which he also holds.Tibetan Canadians
Although Tibetan Canadians, or Canadians of Tibetan ancestry, comprise a small portion of Asian Canadians, Canada holds one of the largest concentrations of Tibetans outside Asia. Tibetans began immigrating to Canada as early as the early 1970s.Tibetan Muslims
The Tibetan Muslims, also known as the Kachee (Tibetan: ཁ་ཆེ་, Wylie: kha-che; also spelled Kache), form a small minority in Tibet. Despite being Muslim, they are officially recognized as Tibetans by the government of the People's Republic of China, unlike the Hui Muslims, who are separately recognized. The Tibetan word Kachee literally means Kashmiri and Kashmir was known as Kachee Yul (Yul means Country).Zhaba language
Zhaba, also known as Bazi, Bozi, Draba, nDrapa, Zaba, Zha (Chinese: 扎坝语), is a Qiangic language of Sichuan, China spoken by about 8,000 people in Daofu County and Yajiang County. The Zhaba, who are officially classified by the Chinese government as ethnic Tibetan people, refer to themselves as [ndʐa˥ pɪ˧˩] and to the Zhaba language as [ndʐa˧˥ ʂka˥]. Neighboring Khams Tibetan speakers refer to the Zhaba people as [ndʐa˥ pa˥]. Zhaba speakers live primarily in the Xianshui River 鲜水河 valley.Descriptions of Zhaba include Huang (1991) and Gong (2007). Huang & Dai (1992) document the Queyu dialect spoken in Zhatuo Village 扎拖村, Zhatuo Township 扎拖乡, Daofu County, Sichuan.Zheng Saisai
Zheng Saisai or Zheng Sai-Sai (Chinese: 郑赛赛; pinyin: Zhèng Sàisài; Mandarin pronunciation: [ʈʂə̂ŋ sâi sâi]; born February 5, 1994) is a Chinese tennis player. She has won one WTA singles title at the Premier level Silicon Valley Classic and four WTA doubles titles. She also reached the finals of the 2019 French Open in doubles with her countrywoman Duan Yingying.
On 31 December 2018, she achieved her career-high singles ranking of world No. 38. On 11 July 2016, she peaked at No. 15 in the doubles rankings.
Her father is a Tibetan. She also has a Tibetan name, Suodian Zhuoma (Chinese: 索典卓玛).