• Jeff Fuchs

Tea Horse Road Chronicles - A Gathering of Women



Nomadic women of Ganze gather on a grassland to take part in a horse festival. It was through and over such high grasslands that the Tea Horse Road moved towards Dzogong, Chamdo, Lhasa and beyond. Horse festivals were vital stops for caravans as it was here where horses, mules, tea and other commodities could be traded and bartered. They remain to this day, gathering occasions to share and pay homage to the horse and the skillsets needed to manage them. Food, family, and fineries meet for days at a time. On this day, the nomadic community showed up in all of their finery, gleaming with silver, corals, and turquoise as these festivities were in some ways as much about gathering and bonding as they were about horses. In eastern Tibetan regions of Kham, many women braid their hair into 108 separate ‘micro braids’, which references enlightenment and is an auspicious number in Buddhism.