In Tibet's Changtang region, nomads harvest salt to buy barley. A clan prepares four of its men for an annual trek to Lake Tsento, where they rake salt from shoals into piles, then into ...
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In Tibet's Changtang region, nomads harvest salt to buy barley. A clan prepares four of its men for an annual trek to Lake Tsento, where they rake salt from shoals into piles, then into bags, and onto their yaks to return, 90-days in all. After picking an auspicious day to depart, they feast, sing, tell stories, and race horses. Women are forbidden on this sacred trip. All is ritualized: Margen cooks, Pargen prepares burnt offerings and distributes meat, Zopon cares for the caravan of 160 yaks, Bopsa bends his strong back to arduous work. To each other they speak the secret language of saltmen; they pray and observe exemplary behavior. The goddess of the lake smiles upon them.Written by
This is a beautifully filmed movie that questions the future of all indigenous peoples, especially nomadic tribesmen. Focusing on the Saltmen of Tibet, the film moves at pace that may make some western viewers uncomfortable. For some peoples, life still proceeds at the same pace which it has for thousands of years. This film follows a group of tribesmen on their annual two month quest to get salt. Their tribe lives its life in a traditional manner (slowly by modern standards) and always accounting to their many gods. This is a remarkable film, one which will preserve a piece of what may, unfortunately, become history. Well worth the time. Don't be in a rush when you see it.
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