Wildlife of Tibet posters

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tesi Environmental Awareness Movement has published some splendid posters on Tibet's wildlife. Thanks to generous funding from Care for the Wild International, UK, which has allowed us to produce large color posters for free distribution. If you can read Tibetan, you will find a wealth of information by clicking on the images. Please feel free to download these images and to use them for educational purposes. Visit TEAM's website for more information.

























16 comments:

Dan said...

Great animal photos. Especially the pug-nosed red bear. Are you sure, though, that the Tibetan name for the Takin is Ba-men? As far as I know a Ba-men is the Tibetan name for the mithun, the crossbreed between the wild Indian ox known as gaur and the domestic cow, especially common from E. Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh. The Ba-men is at least semi-domesticated, but the Takin is not and never has been.

Here is my entry on Tibetan names for the Takin: RTA SKYIN A mammal. The name suggests that it is a horse-like skyin (q.v.). See Sandberg, Tibet 297, where it said to be Budorcas taxicolor (i.e., the takin). See Sardar-Afkhami, Account 10. John F. Neas & Robert S. Hoffmann, Budorcas taxicolor, Mammalian Species, no. 277 (Feb. 27, 1987), p. 1-7, according to which Tibetans, depending on locality, call them "ye-more, ya-go, shing-na, or kin." It says that "Takin" is a name used by the Digaru Mishmees.

I don't really know for sure, but I really doubt that there is any locale where the Takin is called by the name of the Ba-men.

The Tibetan Plateau Blog said...

Dear Dan, I will forward your comments to my colleagues at TEAM who did the work for these posters. I personally find your comments very interesting. Thanks for sharing them. I did ask a Monpa man (in Calgary!) last year about the animal's Tibetan name and he said it's Bamen! So I am curiously confused after reading your comments. If you are right about "bamen" being a crossbreed between wild Indian ox and domestic cow, the information provided on the poster and by the Monpa indicate a common misunderstanding among people. This is worth looking up more closely. By the way, what is "mithun"? I know only one Mithun and he is my brother's favorite Bollywood dancer.

Dan said...

Dan said...
I had a discussion on one of those Tibet lists a few years ago about Tibetan words for the Takin, after seeing some at the zoo in Mysore. Toni Huber (of Berlin) has visited Assam and also enquired with Tibetans and various Assam peoples about names for the animal. Some think the Takin word is Tibetan in origin, but Toni doubts that. I'm not ready to solve the confusion, just to point out that the confusion is there. Part of the problem is that the Ba-men domesticated hybrid looks somewhat like the wild Takin, especially around the head and horns. I'm no expert, but a biologist will tell you right away that a domestic hybrid and a wild non-hybrid can't possibly be the same creature. Especially if the wild non-hybrid didn't contribute any genes to the hybrid, as is the case here I believe.

Mithun is the word actually used in Assam for what Tibetans correctly call Ba-men. I've encountered mentions of the horn of the Ba-men in 12th century Tibetan texts, but I can't tell you if any Takin appears during those times or not. More I can't say. I really can't say what the 'true' name of the Takin is, just because there seems to be a lot of local variation, and no clear occurrences in early Tibetan literature that I know about. That could be because it's main habitat was in the SE and E of Central Tibet-plus-Kham, where people were only partially or somewhat attached to Tibetan language and culture. But regardless of the true name, it's the continuing existence of the true animal that we have to be mainly concerned about.

(Sorry about reposting, just had to fix a mistake in the earlier message.)

The Tibetan Plateau Blog said...

Dear Dan, it sounds like this confusion will not go away easily, especially the 'adoption' of a 'true' Tibetan name. There may not be such a thing for Takin. Or, the word Takin may itself be Tibetan in origin, as in "RTA SKYIN" or horse-like skyin, as your entry show and which I really like. Thanks again for keeping us curious.

Anonymous said...

lol genla twitter led me here again. nice updates. no idea what takin is but yeah mithun isn't just our disco dancer. they say mithun rashi for gemini too if you remember. sry couldn't be of much help, but yeah was tempted to say that.

and besides this, do you happen to be interested in sustainability stuff too? came across this and thought of you.

http://www.sustainableliving.com.au/inspiration/get-inspired/green-product-design/nepalese-wind-turbine-1/

The Tibetan Plateau Blog said...

Hi anonymous, you must be my favorite 'wukpa'. Sorry we didn't make your poster along with other animals.

Yes I remember hearing "mithun rashi" on Indian TV daily horoscope channels. That must be where the disco dancer got his name, right?

Thanks for the link. Reminds me of wind powered mani wheels in Sanjouli, Simla, which stays still a lot of the time, unlike the water powered mani wheels I saw in Spiti which keeps spinning with water flow. I like the idea of using mani wheels for energy generation or any other practical purposes of this life. Two-in-one benefit: this life and future lives!

Anonymous said...

Lol exactly, I was thinking the same. Ek teer do nishane eh. And it's okay, I hope to see a detailed report on wukpas on the plateau in the future. Keep up the amazing work G! Losar tashi delek yoedha!

Anonymous said...

http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Takin

I find the link and thought of this discussion. Hope it helps

The Tibetan Plateau Blog said...

Hello, thank you for link and for your interest.

The Tibetan Plateau Blog said...

Losar greetings to you too, w!

Adelio said...

Classic Collections of Animal Posters. I Love that. Many People like to see this type of Posters. It really catches viewers eyes. I like using very attractive designs with catchy words in my Product advertisement Poster, so I get it designed only from Poster Ninjas.

Zuzana said...

I wanted to thank you for this essential read!! I am definitely savoring every little bit of it. I have you bookmarked to find out new stuff you post.


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monpasang said...

Thanks for these wildlife posters. It is a good way to increase awareness among exiled Tibetans and others of the rich wildlife of the plateau.

In continuation to the discussion by Dan, I would like to agree that ba-men is not the Tibetan for takin, but for the mithan or gayal (Bos frontalis). This cattle species is the domesticated form of the gaur, Bos gaurus (Tib. 'brong), rather than a cross-breed, I suppose, although the bamen is used in cross-breeding with local cattle to get such breeds as jatsha. It is common all over Bhutan and in AP, where many tribes' culture evolves around the species in the same way as the yak is the basis of existence among Tibetan nomads and the water buffalo elsewhere.

A bilingual Tibetan-Chinese publication (ljong-su yod-pa'i ri-skyes srog-chags mthong-rtse chen-phyi rol-du ngos-'dzin lag-deb, published by Chinese Forestry Publishing House in 1994) lists the Tibetan name of the takin as rwa-kyog gtsod 'antelope with bend horns', a reference to the tsö or chiru (Pantholops hodgsoni) and the peculiar shape of the takin's horns.

In Bhutan, the takin is known as drong-gyim-tse (exact spelling I can't remember), and, incidentally, the takin is also the national animal of Bhutan.

In Tibet the takin mainly occursin the forested low-lying valleys of Mon Yul, Dza Yul and Lho Yul (Tshona and Nyingthri Dzong areas).

The Tibetan Plateau Blog said...

Dear Mon Passang. Thank you for your comments, which I saw just now was hiding with junk messages in a separate folder.

Jonathan said...

Hi
Can you help me? I saw a Antilope/cow looking animal in Nangchen, far southeast of Qinghai province China. The locals named it ganardar. I'm not sure about the spelling.
Do you know with animal it is?

Tashi said...

Dear Jonathan, I dont know which animal you saw in Nangchen. If I find out anything that may be referring to, I will let you know. OK?

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