The Hidden Himalayas

Carroll Dunham, Author, Carroll Dunham, Photographer, Thomas L. Kelly, Photographer Abbeville Press $50 (200p) ISBN 978-0-89659-758-7
Hindus and Buddhists coexist peacefully in Humla, a remote, mountainous region in the northwestern corner of Nepal. This photoessay portrays diverse tribal peoples living in close proximity, scrambling to survive in an area of scarce resources. Among the self-reliant Bhotias, Tibetan-speaking folk of Mongolian stock, the wide-spread practice of fraternal polyandry (two or more brothers married to the same wife) curbs population growth. In contrast, the monogamous Hindu tribes are much poorer because of their larger families. Female infanticide is common. In a poetic text built around the cycle of the seasons, Dunham, director of a cultural-exchange program called Sojourn Nepal, describes various peoples for whom life is hard and short, each moment precious. The photographs by Kelly, who lives in Nepal, depict polyandrous marriage ceremonies, annual trade fairs, lamas, ancient festivals. (September)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1987
Release date: 09/01/1987
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