The black tent in its easternmost distribution: the case of the Tibetan plateau
Black tents serve as mobile housing for a majority of the nomadic groups in a belt that stretches from the shores of the Atlantic Ocean to the eastern Tibetan Plateau. The existence of the black tent in its easternmost distribution has rarely been discussed in detail. In most regions, the requirements of the tent are determined by hot, arid climatic conditions, whereas an arid high mountain climate predominates on the Tibetan Plateau. The eastern part receives precipitation of over 500 mm annually. This raises questions about how Tibetan nomads have adapted the black tent to their specific needs and to environmental conditions. Using examples from a region in the eastern Tibetan Plateau, these questions are examined through descriptions of tent variations, construction, interior, choice of location for pitching the tent, and the strategies of tent dwellers to improve protection from cold and rain.