A unique collection of rare images and maps of Tibet through the ages is now available as a calendar from the International Campaign for Tibet. The 2008 calendar, Maps of Tibet: Historic Images of the High Plateau, illustrate Tibet’s history as an independent or autonomous state.
The maps and images are drawn from an era when maps were an art form as well as political representations of shifting dynasties and empires. Antique thangka paintings of Tibetan cities and monasteries illustrate Tibet’s unique architecture and culture, as well as Tibet’s political status.
The calendar features nine maps and three thangka paintings with captions and a historical essay written by Princeton University map expert Tsering Wangyal Shawa. Wangyal writes: “The Maps are snapshots of Tibetan history roughly covering the reigns of the fifth through the thirteenth Dalai Lamas. Most of these Dalia Lamas died young, except the fifth and thirteenth. During the absence of the mature Dalai Lamas, the political vacuums were filled with internal fighting and influence from foreign powers; this resulted in fluctuation of territorial control of Tibet by the Tibetan central government. Some of these territorial changes are reflected in the maps.”
The calendar also serves as the official launching pad for ICT’s Map Project-an initiative to collect, analyze and distribute old maps of Asia that show Tibet as distinct from China. The chief goal of the project is graphically to show how boundaries of Tibet have shifted overtime and to show that Tibet has had a long and distinguished history, including as a separate territory from China. Enlarged copies of the maps are on display at an exhibition in ICT’s conference room. In the coming months ICT will have a web presence featuring our map collection.
ICT started printing wall calendars in 1996 to share the beauty – and tragedy – of Tibet with Tibet supporters in governments, the public, the media, etc. The 2008 calendar is available for $13.99 (or for a reduced price for those who have a discount code) and bulk rates are available to Tibet organizations, Tibetan stores, and others. To purchase them online, go to: www.https://savetibet.org/store