Norlha Textiles | Our Story: Blog - Animals
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Animals

Gazelles

Spring is a crucial time for nomads. Though the warming weather and the thawing ice bring a positive note, spring is also marked by herds of yak and sheep weakened and worn by the harsh plateau winter. The dris and ewes have born calves and lambs and desperately need abundant grass to feed their young. Instead, they face brown hills the color of dust, typified by nomads gazing westward, scanning the horizon for a hint of snow bearing clouds. Welcome snowfall is essential for survival; it gently graces the bare grassland with moisture that coaxes buds of grass out of the hard winter ground. Less welcome are the blizzard whose harshness strips the plateau depriving the herds even of the stringy leftovers of fall. Norlha’s Feather Song of Spring scarf is inspired by the gentle drifts of spring snow. The tie-dyed thread runs a soft and subtle pink hue down the scarf reminding one of light spring snowflakes. It takes a dyer several hours to prepare the white thread, the rarest of yak wools, for this scarf, and a weaver perfect skill to weave it. Song of Spring scarf is a commemoration to nature and the power it has over our survival.

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Wind Horse

Tibetans believe in the positive energy of wind, a strong and exuberant force that can yield great power. This wind can be ridden, like a horse, and harnessed through renunciation. When giving up possessions and power, one attains the freedom of riding the wind horse.

Amdo is the land of horses. From the tops of mountains to the banks of the most beautiful lakes, nomads call for the victory of the gods and scatter myriads of paper wind horses to the sky.

Dugya Bum is 24 years old. He is a dyer at Norlha atelier but also a skilled horseman. He often poses for Norlha shoots riding across the plateau on his stallion. In his free time he helps train horses for friends and fellow villagers.

In this month of February when the wind is the strongest we wish that your “windhorse” may soar and good fortune await you!

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The Yeti's of Norlha

Nomads from the Tibetan Plateau knows of Yeti's and are quite sure that, unlike wolves and the legends that spread in the West, they will not snatch their sheep or yaks.

Spotting one is rare, since they are more furtive than marmots, and certainly less noisy. They are not nearly as big as described by European authors or frightened travelers who probably confused them with Brown Bears. Yeti's live in rocky areas high in the pasture and keep to themselves.

Often children minding sheep and yaks at high altitudes will spot a Yeti or even become acquainted with one. Norlha Yeti's, made from yak felt by Norlha’s women tailors, were modeled on the childhood memories of a Norlha Guard, a secret he kept jealously until he decided to share it, mostly for the sake of his grandchildren. They are a family; Grandpa Yeti Thopdan, Kunga the Snow Yeti and Dhame, the Wild Yeti. Together, they delight the children of the world.

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The Alpine Chough

Ritoma resounds with cawking of black birds that flutter on the grassland and competes with pigeons for nesting spots between the beams of houses. The chough, (Pyrrhocorax graculus) is a socially monogamous high altitude bird from the crow family. It has a distinctive glossy black plumage and a short yellow bill. It has a buoyant and easy flight and its rippling preep and whistleld "sweeeooo" calls, can be heard all over Ritoma.

Ritoma is almost entirely treeless, and birds are often left to build their nests on the open pasture or on rock formations. Houses are therefore highly prized for nesting and the presence of a Chough family on the roof, considered auspicious.

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Love Your Horse

Horses have always been an essential part of a nomad’s life ; an aid to herding, a status symbol, a means of travel. Though still used for herding in areas where even motorcycles are out of bound, they rarely serve as transportation.
In the last few years, however, they have made a passionate comeback in racing, ceremonies and have regained their place as a status symbol.
Horses are close to their owners and want to make them proud. In turn they are loved and protected. On a truck on their way to a race, feeding from recycled basketballs Horseman Wandey in Norlha chuba, hat and scarf, at the annual Laptse.

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