Since the Dalai Lama first appeared on the cover of LIFE magazine in March 1959, much of the world has been fascinated by the Tibetans. The emergence of the People’s Republic of China and its occupation of Tibet beginning in the mid-twentieth century opened Tibet to the outside world and brought us more images of Tibetans. Nonetheless, Tibetans and their plight still remain significantly shrouded by Chinese government policies that restrict freedom of movement and speech, and access to foreign visitors.
The International Campaign for Tibet (ICT)’s 2014 calendar provides a glimpse of Tibetans in their homeland featuring exquisite images of Tibetans wearing a wide variety of hats. Tibetan hats come in all sizes and shapes, and for all occasions; formal hats, casual caps, fur hats, simple cotton ones, regional hats, monastic hats, heirloom hats, hand-made hats - hats are a unique part of Tibetan outfits and culture, and they are worn with great pride. A man without a hat is like a woman without jewelry, and a hat will not be taken off without good warrant. There is a common saying, “The top of the head points up to the blue sky / The four things we put on top of the head are / The hat, the sun, the moon and the stars / Except these nothing will be put on the head.” Your purchase of this calendar provides funds for ICT to further its work to promote human rights and democratic freedoms for the people of Tibet.