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Early History of Tibet

Tibet Autonomous Region is located at southwest of China, on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Tibet is a place with profound culture and history. In this page, you will find early history of Tibet for your reference. 


Mythological Origins

In Tibetan legend and ancient books, they believe their ancestors are the ancient residents on Tibet Plateau. According to the ancient religion Bon, the world is originally a bright egg and a black egg. The bright egg gave birth to human’s ancestor Sheba Sangpo Ben Chek, and his descendants - the gods of heaven and earth gave birth to humans. It is also said that the macaque and the Rock Siren gave birth to Tibetan, and Tibetans’ ancestors are living at Zedang near by the Yarlung Zangbo River. This is legend is blurry memories of Tibetan ancestors coming from the forest.

Formation of the Nationality

According to the historical records of Tibet, Tibet area used to be ruled by 11 creatures before human being. At that time, Tibet was called bod-khams. Bod-pa is still words referring to a Tibetan himself, which used to be a name of the region. The nationalities around Tibet Plateau such as Qiang, Naxi and Pumi, in their legends, they thought their ancestors are from the center area of Tibet.
Hordes who took Qinghai Lake as the center and developped from north Tibet grassland, crossed Tanggula Mountains to Yangtze River and Yellow River, grew up to be Qiang and Xiqiang. Other hordes went from the south of Qinghai to Yunnan-Guiyang Plateau or to Burma. The agricultural tribe s and hordes stayed on the Tibet Plateau, they were united in Tubo Dynasty and formed the Tibetan Nationality.

Early History of Tibet

The ancient people lived in the forest area at the middle and lower Yarlung Zangbo River. Later they knew how to use fire. They walked along the river and scattered to Lhasa River, Nianchu River, Niyang River, Yalong River and other areas. At these river valleys, they developed early agriculture and domesticated animals, and then they formed agriculture tribes and hordes.
Accoring to Tibet History, Tibetan ancestors can be divided into 4 groups: Se, Rmu, Stong, Ldong. Some said there were 6 groups which are dbra, vgru, lgong, lga, dbas and brday. Each group could be divided into dozens of smaller ones. In ancient times, the tribes along with development and migration, were separated to small ones or united as big ones.
In the Sixth Century, Tibetan ancestors formed 10 unions of tribes. Each had a Zanpu which was the highest ruler of the whole union. And each union had Shang and Lun, which were smaller leaders and retainers.
Among the unions or states, the Tubo at Shannan Prefecture was the strongest. Later it unified all the other states and established Tubo Dynasty.