Housing in Tibet
The earliest form of Tibetan housing was found at the archeological site of 4,000-year-old Karub New Stone Age. There are several different styles of housing in Tibet, such as the blockhouses in southern region of Tibet, tents in the pasture lands of northern Tibet, wooden housing in the forest areas of the Yarlung Zangbo River Valley, and cave dwellings on the Nagri Plateau.
The most common kind of civilian housing are blockhouses. These structures consist of mostly stone and wood and are usually built in a traditional architectural style. There are generally two storys, with the first floor used as a storage area or shelter for domestic animals, and the second floor is the actual living space, consisting of a kitchen and sitting room. Wealthier families may have an additional floor with is used for the family sutra room and a balcony. These are very sturdy and solid dwellers.
Herdsmen were the first to use tents as a means of housing. These tents are compact in size and usually in the shape of a rectangle. The frame is held together by wooden bars and the frame and roof are held to the ground with yak hair rope. Rocks or adobe bricks are used to make a small wall, which is used to hold herbs, butter, and various forms of fuel. Each tent contains a small stove, and behind the stove is usually a statue of Buddha. Sheep or Llama hide may be used as a "carpet" for the sitting area. Mostly nomads use this type of housing, because it is easily taken apart and easily moved.
Houses are built as a tribute to Buddha. Wall decorations are very important in signifying the various divisions of Tibetan Buddhism. Red symbolizes fire, white represents clouds, blue represents the sky, and green represents the earth and water. All of these dwellings are the highlight of Tibetan Buddhism.
Since 1959, housing development has improved and increased in Tibet. Televisions, running water, and furniture are being provided more frequently.
[ inhabitants introduction] [tourism]