The Tibetans are a farming and herding people who settled the high plateau region of southwestern China around 13,000 years ago. The first kingdoms appeared around 400 AD and a centralized dynasty in the seventh century. The major religion, Tibetan Buddhism, is a syncretic mix of Indian Buddhism, Tantrism, and the local pantheistic religion. For 300 years prior to 1950, the government was headed by a Buddhist monk, the Dalai Lama. After 1950, Tibet was incorporated into the People’s Republic of China as the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR).
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