DOCUMENTARY STORIES

Kham

Litang County, Sichuan, China

As an old tradition, Khampas from all over the Tibetan Plateau come to trade, celebrate and ride at The Litang Horse Festival every August in Litang County, Sichuan province, China. This region is part of Kham, one of the three traditional provinces of Tibet that presently covers a land area distributed between five regions in China.

Khampas are Tibetan nomads, usually herders. During the festival horsemanship and horse races are held upon the Tibetan Ponies. It is a very significant event, as it helps to establish a socio-economic hierarchy in Khampas who participate.

The town of Litang, home to a high proportion of Tibetans, saw a mass protest during the horse-racing festival of 2007, as the area has a long history of fighting under Chinese rule. Afterward, the Chinese security forces launched a huge military crackdown in the region.

This series of images are from the 2017 Event, that took place 10 years after the 2007 protest and suspension of the event.

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