National Geographic : 1955 Jul
The National Geographic Magazine hybrid between the ox and yak, is gentler than the stubborn yak. In the provinces, Tibetans are inured to harsh, frugal lives. Daily food may consist of a bowl of tsampa kneaded with tea, a few strips of dried yak meat, and endless cups of greenish butter tea. But I have never known a people who laughed so much. Their casual attitude toward life finds its most startling expression in marriage. Most Tibetans have one mate, but any marital ar rangement is tolerated. Brothers-or sisters -may wed the same partner to keep a family estate intact. Fortunately jealousy seldom stirs a Tibetan heart. Everywhere in the length and breadth of the starkly beautiful country there are mon asteries. They perch like stone griffins' nests on the spurs of mountains and nestle half hidden in green, sun-soaked valleys. Leaving Home Forever, a Solemn Little Boy Rides Forth to Rule a Monastery George and Yangchenla Tsarong (page 14) felt mixed pride and heartache when monks selected their three-year-old son as the incarnation of a high-ranking lama and took him away. Parading through Lhasa, he will lay his hands, as he has been taught, on the heads of persons eager for his blessing. A week's ride away the child will enter a new life as godhead of one of the country's wealthiest cloisters. Like the Dalai Lama, he is one of Lamaism's hundreds of Living Buddhas. E.