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For the Tibetan nomads, life is indeed a struggle in the harsh environment of the high plateau: A place where the ground and winds are in perpetual motion. It is a place where temperatures range from a low of -40 degrees Fahrenheit to around 60 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. The yak is the key to survival on the Tibetan plateau. A visit to a nomad's tent illustrates this point. The tent itself is made from yak hair. Upon entering, the center of the tent is warmed by the fire of yak dung. The tent is illuminated by yak butter candles, and their blankets are made from yak hair. The principle diet includes tsampa and yak butter, dried yak cheese and sometimes yak meat. There is a distinct similarity between the Tibetan nomads and their dependence on the yak with the Native American's dependence on the bison (Taken from a Greatest Places Leadership Institute presentation--source unknown).

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Tibetan Tents

Greatest Places Online 1999 Science Museum of Minnesota