New publications (2): Amdo and Kham

The editors of Asian Highlands Perspectives have recently announced the publication of a further three new volumes (see here for a previous set of recently published volumes). Free downloads are available by following the links below, and at-cost hard copies are available here.


AHP12: Silence in the Valley of Songs:
Work Songs from the Sman shod Valley
by Zla ba sgrol ma (ཟླ་བ་སྒྲོལ་མ་)

The text and more than a hundred full-page color plates document Tibetan folk music (particularly work songs), and local life in Sman shod Valley, Sde dge County, Dkar mdzes Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province, China. Bo nyed, a local elder, describes the situation that motivated this timely documentation, “In the past we sang constantly, but now people don’t sing no matter where they are or what they are doing. Now everyone is silent.” The text includes richly contextualized and annotated transcriptions of the songs’ Tibetan lyrics with English translations.

Audio materials related to this publication can be found at:
The text can also be downloaded here.


AHP13: Warming Your Hands With Moonlight:
Lavrung Tibetan Oral Traditions and Culture
by G.yu lha (གཡུ་ལྷ་)

Lavrung is a little studied Qiangic language spoken by a small group of Tibetans in Rangtang County, Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province, China. This work provides the first monographic introduction to Lavrung Tibetans and their language and culture, focusing on the use of trilingual (Lavrung, Chinese, and Tibetan) figurative speech in villagers’ everyday discourse. Background on local oral traditions, including folktales, riddles, work songs, and secret curative chants, is also provided. A Lavrung-English word list, fifty-six full-color photographs, and several maps showing the location and distribution of Lavrung-speaking communities are also included.

Audio and video related to this publication can be found at:
The text can also be downloaded here.


AHP14: May All Good Things Gather Here:
Life, Religion, and Marriage in a Mi nyag Tibetan Village
by Bkra shis bzang po (བཀྲ་ཤིས་བཟང་པོ་)

This work documents marriage customs and related oral traditions in Bang smad Village, Bang smad Township, Nyag rong County, Dkar mdzes Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province, China. Villagers speak the poorly documented Mi nyag language. This study provides novel linguistic and ethnographic data, including a Mi nyag-English word list, maps showing the distribution of Mi nyag-speaking communities, and numerous full-color photographs of village life and wedding festivities. Of special interest are the transcribed wedding speeches locally given in Mi nyag and Tibetan.

Audio related to this publication can be found at:
The text can also be downloaded here.


Cite this blog post
Nicolas Sihlé (2012, February 1). New publications (2): Amdo and Kham. The Himalayas and beyond. Retrieved February 22, 2024, from

Nicolas Sihlé

Nicolas Sihlé, a sociocultural anthropologist, is researcher at the Center for Himalayan Studies, a research unit of the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) based in Villejuif (France). He specializes on Tibetan religion and society, and is the author of Rituels bouddhiques de pouvoir et de violence : La figure du tantriste tibétain [Buddhist rituals of power and violence : The figure of the Tibetan tantrist] (Brepols, 2013). His current work focuses on post-Mao socioreligious transitions in and around the famous communities of non-monastic specialists of tantric Buddhism in northeast Tibet (Amdo), and more generally on the comparative anthropology of Buddhism.

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