Go Herding

Dogs barked all night long but not as loud as when it was at the Black River pasture.

Lovely misty morning, grass all damp and yaks chewing freely, and noisily by my tent. The sun had not come out yet. In the morning fog, one tan colored yak with colorful ribbons clipped on her ear stood on a small mound looking at the sun. With those ribbons, she is one of the few lucky yaks who get to live her full life. The herders always leave a few of the yaks unused, raising them until death as a way to pay some tributes to the ones they have to kill. Shong and Tsertser are the names of these special yaks. Shongs for individual and Tsertser for the whole family.

Sheep congregated in the center of the herder’s tents. When the morning deepened, if Herder DJ didn’t come out early enough, they would walk out on their own toward the big sandy hill. “Sheep walked away!”, the little boy alerted us.

So, Sangku rode me on his motorcycle to follow herder DJ and the sheep. Over the sand hills, what remained of Bird Lake could be seen glittering in the sun. Filmed the herder perched on the highest point on the hill, and some close ups.

With the sheep wandering around for their own business, we rode back. Herder DJ’s dirty white horse looked very pretty.

I interviewed herder DJ, just few questions. I’m not sure how much interviews I’d use in the film.

Sangku went to visit a nearby village and stayed there. The family made steamed bread mixed with melted yak butter and sugar. Kids seem to like that a lot.

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