PHOTO: Women in Traditional Tibetan Clothing at Sakya Monastery in Tibet

Women in traditional Tibetan clothing at Sakya Monastery in Tibet

The women pictured above are arriving at Sakya Monastery in the small village of Sakya, Tibet. As is customary, they wear their hair in long braids, which are sometimes coiled around the head like a crown. All of the women are wearing traditional Tibetan clothing, which consists of a long, loose-fitting woolen robe called a chuba, layered over a wool or raw silk blouse. The traditional striped aprons, cinched at the waist, indicate that they are married. Each woman then personalizes her outfit with an ornate belt and jewelry.

It is no surprise that Tibetan women regularly visit their local monasteries. Tibetan Buddhism is intricately interwoven into everyday life in Tibet. Prayer flags flap in the breezes above every Tibetan home. No Tibetan dwelling would be complete without an altar, where family members, especially the women, pray and offer devotions first thing every morning. Even while holding a baby to suckle at her breast, a Tibetan woman will likely be fingering prayer beads or spinning a prayer wheel. But the monasteries are more than just holy places where Tibetans go to earn merit. They are community gathering places where people meet to share a cup of yak butter tea, exchange local gossip, and discuss news from around the world.

Author’s note: After many years of trying to visit Tibet, I was finally successful with the assistance of Himalaya Journey, which specializes in small group tours of Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal, and India. If you enjoyed this mini-story about traditional Tibetan clothing and culture in Tibet, you may also enjoy reading about the superstitious practice of putting a black smudge on the noses of Tibetan children.

6 thoughts on “PHOTO: Women in Traditional Tibetan Clothing at Sakya Monastery in Tibet”

  1. Thanks for the insight of Tibetan cultures.

    Minority Asian cultures always fascinates especially the ones in South Asia.

    Love your blog minimalist design, hope to be back. 🙂

  2. Barbara,
    What colorful and gorgeous dresses. Reminds me of the dresses worn in Ecuador and Peru. Interesting that they resemble each other! Thanks for sharing young lady!


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