Valid HTML 4.01!


The livestock and especially the yak is of paramount importance in Zanskar. Yaks are used to plough the land, to thresh the grain, to carry heavy loads (up to 200 kg), to heat the houses during the winter and their dung not only serves as fertiliser but is also the only heating fuel available in this region. They are also a vital source for milk, and sometimes but rarely, of meat. The yak's fur is used to make clothes, carpets, ropes and bed covers.
Oh! you beautiful yak!
Please walk fast so that our fields will be sown quickly.
Oh! you beautiful yak!
Your horns are so long that they reach the sky
and your tail is very long
Please plough our fields quickly
and then you can go on to the high pastures
and eat flowers and sit by the water on the green grass.
Traditional Folk song

white Yak

Fig. 1.5: White yak

Black Yak

Fig. 1.6: Black yak (Transhimalaja, S. Hedin, 1909)


previous page "Climate and Population" next page "History" next

©Pierre Dèzes