Description of the Area and the Nomads

The Gologs are an ethnic Tibetan nomadic group in eastern China. The Gologs had their main occupied area in the south of the region that was previously designated by the name of Amdo, that is northeast of central Tibet, the region with the mountain range of the Amne Machen. Amdo is the historical name and is part of the Tibetan culture.

The image that many have of Tibet and especially the area of Amdo is linked to that of the nomads. The largest part of Amdo is part of the Chinese province of Qinghai.


If someone searches on the Internet for the word “nomad” they will find many terms and descriptions. no · mad (plural: nomads)

1. a member of a wandering shepherd tribe.

Nomads are people who wander and have no permanent place to stay. The word derives from Greek and means “herdsmen”: those who graze their flocks.

The nomadic lifestyle in Tibet is one of the last examples in the world of sustainable livestock. For centuries, Tibetan nomadic herders sustainably support themselves, and have uniquely adapted to the harsh environment of the Tibetan plateau.

There are an estimated 2.25 million Tibetan nomads living on this plateau, with their herds of yaks, sheep and goats that migrate based on the seasons of the year, while they produce wool, butter, cheese, yogurt and meat. Nomads have major problems due to lack of medicines and education. Four to five children per family is the average. The children are needed to work with the herds and they often miss school, even though they can receive free boarding.

The high altitude and the cold bring problems for the heart and lungs, besides arthritis. The grazing of herds is done by the men. Although the families remain with the flocks as close in proximity as possible, this is not always possible and the men are sometimes for days or even weeks from home. The women and young children remain in tents and take care of the household chores. They weave yak hair blankets, scraping sheepskins clean and make butter and cheese. Until late autumn they graze the herds, then they descend to the valleys. In autumn the most nomads come to the village or town markets to trade. They exchange yak meat, butter, cheese, hides and woven blankets in exchange for corn and vegetables.

The nomads also trade in salt, which they find on the high plains in the north. They still belong to the poorest section of the population of Tibet.

Area description

The country Tibet has three main regions, namely: – Amdo (Golok), located in northeastern Tibet – Kham, located in eastern Tibet – U-Tsang, located in Central and Western Tibet.

The Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), which actually amounts to U-TSAG was founded in 1965 by the Chinese government and covers the area of Tibet west of the Yangtze River (Tibetan “Driche) including part of Kham. The rest of Amdo and Kham have been incorporated into Chinese provinces, and are designated as Tibetan Autonomous Prefectures and Tibetan Autonomous Provinces.

As a result, most of Qinghai is part of the provinces of Gansu, Sichuan and Yunnan recognized by the Chinese authorities as “Tibetan autonomous.” The term “Tibet” is used to refer to all these Tibetan areas currently under the authority of the People’s Republic of China (source: International Campaign for Tibet).

Golog Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture is an autonomous district for Tibetans in Qinghai Province, China. This district is located in the southeast of the province and consists mostly of highlands and mountains. Golog has the largest population of Tibetans in Qinghai Province. 90% is Tibetan and follow the traditional lifestyle as a nomad.

Golog is twice as large as the Netherlands. The average altitude at which one lives is 4200m /13450ft. Most Tibetans live in villages. There are eight major cities.

Lhasa, with about 257,000 inhabitants, is the largest and also the capital of Tibet. The higher you go, the lower the temperature and the thinner the air. There are vast grasslands where cattle graze, there are jungles with leopards, tigers and monkeys. Along the many rivers you will find vast cornfields. There are several areas where oranges, bananas and watermelons are grown. Tibet has a variety of landscapes.

The Himalayas are the source of some of the largest rivers in Asia, which provides hundreds of millions of people with drinking water. It therefore plays an important role in Indian and Tibetan mythology, religion and literature.

The name Himalaya originates from Sanskrit and is a combination of the words hima (snow) and layas (residence): literally “abode of snow”.