Kham is eastern Tibet, the region between central Tibet
and China. The terrain is one of steep mountain ranges
running from northwest to southeast, cut by the deep gorges
of the Yangtse, Yalung, Mekong, and Salween rivers. In
Tibet, Kham is also called "Chushi Gangdruk", the "four
rivers and six ranges".
Where the valleys are broad, they sustain a rich agriculture and
settled communities. The high grasslands support the large herds
of yak, sheep and goats of pastoral nomads. Nomadic Khampas live
on horseback, and are renowned throughout Tibet for their prowess
as traders, warriors, rustlers and bandits.
Kham is the land of Gesar
of Ling, the legendary culture hero of Tibet. It was also the
domain of important Buddhist monasteries of the four major lineages,
and the homeland of many of the greatest Buddhist lamas of Tibetan
history, right up to the present day.
These pictures were taken in the summer of 1998, in the
area of Litang, Ganze and Derge, a region of Kham that has
been incorporated politically into Szechuan Province.