Mosika, a Journey to the West

Lazy yellow rays filtered though the pine trees as we slowly made our way up the valley in the late afternoon. A deep blue river flowed on our are right and we were hemmed in on both sides by high, rust-colored cliffs for most of the journey up. As we climbed high enough and passed through the tree line, we emerged onto a large alpine grassland that gave way to eloquent rolling hills peppered with yaks; and there was a slight cold that felt like early autumn. We had finally reached our destination: a small village called Mosika (莫斯卡) nestled deep within the Qiong Lai mountains of Aba prefecture, Western Sichuan.


Sunset at the first village.


Situated at an elevation of 3,900 meters, Mosika sits in the cradle of a sloping valley and is split into an upper village and a lower village. Both are ethnically Tibetan and and contain beautifully preserved monasteries, which the villagers testify haven’t changed in four hundred years. With the help of our friend and guide, lao Wang, we were able to peer into this intimate community of stoic Buddhists. Upon entering the upper village, I couldn’t help feeling that we actually stepped back in time. The alleys were ancient and narrow, and lined with whitewashed stone and timber. Women with wind-scarred and sunburnt faces peered out from hazy windows, and the air had the scent of wood smoke. There was a palpable calm over the whole village, so much so that it felt supernatural.


A four hundred year old painting within the monastery.


During the three days we were there, we spent our time touring the grounds of the village and interviewing locals. At night, we stayed at a homestay and ate yak dumpings with deer antler infused liquor. These images are an account of experience.


Lighting yak butter candles in the monastery.


Faces of Mosika


Shy granddaughter.


A hearder’s wife boils butter tea in the stone wall of their hut.


Our host and local yak hearder.


An old woman spinning a prayer wheel while reciting scriptures.


Village Chief’s father taking a stroll.


A visiting monk


Jake Homovich  | Photographer

Jake is an American photographer based in Chengdu. Inspired to pick up the camera by the scenes that surround his daily life, he enjoys documenting the scenes and characters that present themselves in modern day China as well as working on commerical shoots.

For more photos check out
or contact WeChat ID: J7692H