The Tibetan Plateau, known as "the Roof of the World", has been home to Tibetan nomads for centuries. However, the lives of many Tibetans are undergoing huge change. Many of the region's nomadic herders are being moved into houses in government resettlement developments.

Tibetan nomads Kevin Frayer
Ethnic Tibetan nomad Takpa has Buddhist mantras written by a traditional doctor on his face to help with his illness as he stands with his yak herd on the Tibetan Plateau in Yushu CountyKevin Frayer/Getty Images
Tibetan nomads Kevin Frayer
A young Buddhist novice monk stands with his yak herd at the family's nomadic summer grazing area on the Tibetan PlateauKevin Frayer/Getty Images
Tibetan nomads Kevin Frayer
A yak crosses the road near a herding area on the Tibetan Plateau in Madou CountyKevin Frayer/Getty Images
Tibetan nomads Kevin Frayer
Tibetan Buddhist monks wash their clothing in a river at a monastery next to a government resettlement community in Yushu CountyKevin Frayer/Getty Images
Tibetan nomads Kevin Frayer
A former Tibetan nomad stands with her washing machine outside her home in a government resettlement community in Madou CountyKevin Frayer/Getty Images
Tibetan nomads Kevin Frayer
Tibetan Buddhist novice monk Thubten Tsering, who is from a former nomadic family, walks outside at a government resettlement community in Yushu CountyKevin Frayer/Getty Images

Activists have expressed concern that China's main aim with programmes such as resettlement is to control a restive population and that Tibetans have been given little option but to cooperate. "It's much easier to enforce administrative control over settled communities than over nomads in the grasslands," Kate Saunders, spokeswoman for the International Campaign for Tibet, told Reuters. "The Chinese authorities have aligned the policy with specific political objectives of eliminating separatism and eliminating expressions of Tibetan nationalism."

The Chinese government rejects criticism that it has repressed Tibetan religious freedom and culture, saying its rule has ended serfdom and brought development to a backward region. The government says resettlement gives herders access to health care and schooling and lets them benefit from China's booming economy by offering new job opportunities, such as working in tourism.

Tibetan nomads Kevin Frayer
Former Tibetan nomad Kyipotsomo kisses her three-month-old son Kunchok as they and the child's father Jamyang Palden sit in the living room of their house in a government resettlement community in Madou CountyKevin Frayer/Getty Images
Tibetan nomads Kevin Frayer
A Tibetan woman holds on to her hat in strong winds as she walks her daughter home from a Chinese government school in a resettlement community in Yushu CountyKevin Frayer/Getty Images
Tibetan nomads Kevin Frayer
Tibetan Buddhist novice monk Thubten Tsering, who is from a former nomadic family, stands in his house in a government resettlement community in Yushu CountyKevin Frayer/Getty Images
Tibetan nomads Kevin Frayer
A former Tibetan nomad sits in the living room of her house in a government resettlement communityKevin Frayer/Getty Images

Award-winning Getty Images photographer Kevin Frayer has spent several years documenting the daily lives of China's ethnic minorities such as Kazakh horsemen and Uighur Muslims. He visited a festival sponsored by the local government in Yushu County, Qinghai, and documented Tibetan nomads and their rapidly vanishing way of life.

Tibetan nomads Kevin Frayer
Tibetan men in traditional costume prepare for a fire dance at a local festival on the Tibetan Plateau in Yushu County, Qinghai, ChinaKevin Frayer/Getty Images
Tibetan nomads Kevin Frayer
An ethnic Tibetan nomad uses a prayer wheel at a festival in Yushu CountyKevin Frayer/Getty Images
Tibetan nomads Kevin Frayer
Ethnic Tibetan nomads wearing traditional costume dance at a festival in Yushu CountyKevin Frayer/Getty Images
Tibetan nomads Kevin Frayer
Tibetan women in traditional costume attend at a local festival on the Tibetan Plateau in Yushu CountyKevin Frayer/Getty Images
Tibetan nomads Kevin Frayer
A Tibetan nomad woman wears traditional jewellery in her hair during a riding competition at a festival in Yushu CountyKevin Frayer/Getty Images
Tibetan nomads Kevin Frayer
A man smokes as he takes part in a local festival on the Tibetan Plateau in Yushu CountyKevin Frayer/Getty Images
Tibetan nomads Kevin Frayer
Brothers pose together near Tibetan Buddhist prayer flags at a local festival in Yushu CountyKevin Frayer/Getty Images
Tibetan nomads Kevin Frayer
A Tibetan girl walks amongst Buddhist prayer flags at a festival in Yushu CountyKevin Frayer/Getty Images
Tibetan nomads Kevin Frayer
A horseman shoots a target as he shows off his riding skills at a festival in Yushu CountyKevin Frayer/Getty Images
Tibetan nomads Kevin Frayer
Tibetan nomads watch a show at a festival in Yushu CountyKevin Frayer/Getty Images
Tibetan nomads Kevin Frayer
Ethnic Tibetans wearing traditional costume dance at a local government-sponsored festival in Yushu CountyKevin Frayer/Getty Images
Tibetan nomads Kevin Frayer
Two women and a boy are pictured at a local festival on the Tibetan Plateau in Yushu CountyKevin Frayer/Getty Images
Tibetan nomads Kevin Frayer
Ethnic Tibetan nomads watch an event at a local festival in Yushu CountyKevin Frayer/Getty Images
Tibetan nomads Kevin Frayer
Young musicians wait to perform at a local government-sponsored festival on the Tibetan PlateauKevin Frayer/Getty Images
Tibetan nomads Kevin Frayer
Tibetan youths hold air rifles at a festival in Yushu CountyKevin Frayer/Getty Images
Tibetan nomads Kevin Frayer
Ethnic Tibetans dressed in yak costumes wait to perform at a festival in Yushu CountyKevin Frayer/Getty Images
Tibetan nomads Kevin Frayer
An ethnic Tibetan nomad in traditional dress holds a Chinese flag as he waits to show off his horse skills at a local government-sponsored festival on the Tibetan Plateau in Yushu CountyKevin Frayer/Getty Images