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The Yak & Zho

  • Joan Pollock
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This animal is essential to all households for providing a means of farming for those living in this mountainous region. The plough is attached to this animal for ploughing the land, helping with the harvest and carrying heavy loads. The Yak gives milk for drinking, making butter tea, and cheese, dried in the sun and eaten in winter. Yak meat is dried by the sun in summer, stored and provides a staple diet in winter.

Yak hide provides leather for making shoes, and saddle bags when travelling by horseback. The black hair can be woven for making rope and cloth for Nomad tents. The white, soft wool is used for making blankets and carpets for the Nomad tents. The dung of course, when dried and mixed with straw provides fuel for fires. This is a mixed blessing as although it provides fuel for cooking and warmth in winter, at the same time the land is being denied of natural fertilisation. Farmers are then obliged to use chemical fertiliser, this upsets the balance of nature, not to mention the added cost to the farmer!