The Tibetan Plateau is a vast elevated plateau in Central Asia and East Asia, covering most of the Tibet Autonomous Region and Qinghai in western China, as well as part of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir, India. The plateau has an average elevation of over 14763 feet. It is the highest and largest plateau in the world.

Tibet is part of China but a visitor might find it difficult to see the relationship. Climbing to the plateau from the low land is a bit intimidating too if you have studied the effects of altitude on the human body. And you should study it when you travel there. By auto we climbed to the plateau in two days and had no difficulty. More prudent travelers might tarry at an intermediate altitude(s).

Tibetans are the most religious people I have experienced. They dress most often in traditional clothing, wear prayer beads and regularly walk around the numerous and beautiful temples in prayer. Where there are large prayer wheels they also spin the wheels to send prayers to heaven.

A visit to the Tibetan Plateau is a visit I will remember always. Visit as many temples as possible. They are beautiful. The students who are training there live in primitive accommodations but seem happy doing so. Read as much as you can before traveling there so as to better understand what you are seeing.

These images are part of a series titled “Faces of the World”. My objective is to capture the people in places that are not yet part of the first world economy and their communities in this early part of the 21st century. It is an exciting quest. Will I finish? My original intent was to include only portraits of the people but it seems important to see the communities and the cultures as best I can to complete the story. Of course a few images does not tell the whole story but I hope I have allows a “peek under the tent”.

Faces of the World “Cuba” is for sale exclusively at Steve Martins Gallery in the New Orleans Art District.