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An Eastern Tibetan Tool for Managing Draught Cattle

https://doi.org/10.17746/1563-0110.2020.48.3.107-116

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Abstract

This study, based on a trip to the Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Region of Qinghai Province, China in August 2018, focuses on the tradition of using wooden nose-rings for managing draught yaks and yak-cow hybrids, still practiced in Tibet. The materials and technology for manufacturing this tool are described, and measurements are provided. I describe variants of the traditional yoke and plow (ard) system used in conjunction with a nose-ring and identify several variants of nose-ring, distinguished by the style of terminus. I investigate seasonality of use, method of piercing, age of animals at piercing, techniques for managing single animals and draught teams, as well as nose-ring durability and advantages of wooden vs. rope forms. Based on a comprehensive comparative historical analysis of materials from Yushu, I suggest that Tibetan ancestors, who had moved there from the northeast in the second half of the 1st millennium BC, introduced wooden nose-ring technology.

About the Author

Y. N. Esin
Khakass Research Institute of Language, Literature, and History
Russian Federation

Department Head

Shchetinkina 23, Abakan, 655017



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For citation:


Esin Y.N. An Eastern Tibetan Tool for Managing Draught Cattle. Archaeology, Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia. 2020;48(3):107-116. https://doi.org/10.17746/1563-0110.2020.48.3.107-116

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ISSN 1563-0110 (Print)