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The Mountain Men

The Mountain Men


The Dengba are the smallest and least well-known ethnic group in Tibet. There are around 1,600 members of the Denga community living in Tibet’s southeast Chayu County. Decades ago, the Dengba survived by hunting barefoot in the vegetation between the Himalayas and the Hengduan Mountains at an altitude of about 1,000 meters. They lived in two-story wooden shacks, with the families living upstairs and their livestock downstairs. They recorded important yearly events and dates by tying knots on ropes. Today, most of the Denga people have moved into terraced river valleys. But there are still some who continue to follow the traditional lifestyle of their ancestors deep in the mountains.

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