Old Tibetan provinces

Old Tibetan provinces
Kham, 1908. Loads are 300 lb (135 kg) of tea per man

The old Tibetan Empire had three provinces Ü-Tsang, Amdo and Kham. The names are still sometimes used, the three regions still have different dialects, and the Dalai Lama's Tibetan government-in-exile in Dharamsala still claims all three as parts of Tibet. However, large parts of them have not actually been ruled by Tibet since the Qing Dynasty (Manchu rulers of China 1644-1912) expanded its borders into the area in the early 18th century.

Both the Repulic of China (1911-1949) and the People's Republic (1949-date) kept most of the Qing setup, so the current political and administrative boundaries are quite different from the old provinces.

The Qing put the eastern parts of Kham under the jurisdiction of the Chinese provinces Yunnan and Sichuan, and they still are. In the 1950s, the western part was incorporated into the TAR. In the current administrative system, Kham has no role; all of its old territory is now part of other administrative divisions. However, the locals still call themselves Khampas and speak a somewhat different dialect of Tibetan.

None of the current boundaries correspond exactly with the older ones; the above is just a general guide.

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