Changpa nomads — A nomadic tribe in the Himalayas with no money and no technology.
Cat Vinton spent two months immersed in the wild, rustic, and centuries-old life of the nomadic Chang Tang-Pa tribe on the Tibetan-Indian border, where they spent their time finding food for their herds high in the frozen Himalayas.
She became acquainted with Jimmai. Jimmai was born into a nomadic family who lives high in the Himalayas on the Chang Tang plateau, part of a dying way of life.
Cat Vinton, a photographer, was welcomed into Jimmai’s tribe, the Chang Tang-Pa, and spent two months learning about their unwavering determination to preserve their nomadic lifestyle. She lived with a family and slept in yak skin tents.
Vinton was welcomed into Gaysto’s family, and they are shown here. Sonam, his 12-year-old daughter, is on the right, Karma, his son, is in front, and Yangyen, his wife, is on the left.
Sonam, a 12-year-old girl, is in charge of ensuring that the flock’s youngest members get milk and food – a difficult task when most grazing land is covered in snow.
These hardy nomads have no money or technology and rely on an ancient trading tradition of exchanging goods to survive (most are goats or products from goats).
Ms. Yangyen and Karma spent time together in the house. Of course, they have few modern conveniences – no technology and few ways to communicate with the outside world – and they live a simple existence centered on living off the land.
Their lives are intertwined with those of their goats. Sonam would sing to her animals and travel for days across the mountains on her own in search of new pastures for them.
Ms. Yangyen makes tsampa, a Tibetan flour, from roasted barley.
Gaysto’s family left the foundation of the old module tents when they returned to the grazing area for the next season. His family would return to this location the following year.
The families are devout Buddhists, according to Vinton, who saw them chanting Tibetan prayers in the early morning sunlight.
Gaysto is now 55 years old. He and his tribe continue the rhythm of an ancient way of life, pure survival on the vast Himalayan slopes! Their entire life is spent free in nature, with yak-skin tents and herbs.
According to Vinton, the future of the Chang Tang-Pa tribe appears to be bleak, with their culture on the verge of extinction among the snow-capped peaks.