SupChina Photo Contest: Tibetan Yak, by Kyle Obermann

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Editor’s note: Kyle Obermann’s photo (click to enlarge) is a 2nd Prize winner in the SupChina Photo Contest. All 10 winning photos will be posted one per day beginning today, with the Grand Prize winner unveiled on Friday, September 21. Keep an eye on this space for all the winners.


Traditional Tibetan Buddhist families in southeast Qinghai tend to only kill two to three yaks a year for meat. When they do, it is akin to a small, holy ceremony: holy water is poured on the yak before it is suffocated to death — Tibetans prefer not to see blood from a dying animal. Only men are able to see the death. Then, afterwards, field dressing the animal becomes an entire family affair. Almost no part is wasted.

(Photo taken in September 2017)