High Frontiers

Dolpo and the Changing World of Himalayan Pastoralists

Kenneth Michael Bauer

Columbia University Press

High Frontiers

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Pub Date: April 2004

ISBN: 9780231123914

336 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $50.00£41.95

Pub Date: April 2004

ISBN: 9780231123907

336 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $150.00£124.95

Pub Date: April 2004

ISBN: 9780231509022

336 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $49.99£41.95

High Frontiers

Dolpo and the Changing World of Himalayan Pastoralists

Kenneth Michael Bauer

Columbia University Press

Dolpo is a culturally Tibetan enclave in one of Nepal's most remote regions. The Dolpo-pa, or people of Dolpo, share language, religious and cultural practices, history, and a way of life. Agro-pastoralists who live in some of the highest villages in the world, the Dolpo-pa wrest survival from this inhospitable landscape through a creative combination of farming, animal husbandry, and trade.

High Frontiers is an ethnography and ecological history of Dolpo tracing the dramatic transformations in the region's socioeconomic patterns. Once these traders passed freely between Tibet and Nepal with their caravans of yak to exchange salt and grains; they relied on winter pastures in Tibet to maintain their herds. After 1959, China assumed full control over Tibet and the border was closed, restricting livestock migrations and sharply curtailing trade. At the same time, increasing supplies of Indian salt reduced the value of Tibetan salt, undermining Dolpo's economic niche. Dolpo's agro-pastoralists were forced to reinvent their lives by changing their migration patterns, adopting new economic partnerships, and adapting to external agents of change. The region has been transformed as a result of the creation of Nepal's largest national park, the making of Himalaya, a major motion picture filmed on location, the increasing presence of nongovernmental organizations, and a booming trade in medicinal products. High Frontiers examines these transformations at the local level and speculates on the future of pastoralism in this region and across the Himalayas.
Bauer has his facts straight, and his analysis is compelling. His book is a valuable addition. James F. Fisher, Anthropological Quarterly
An antidote to romanticized portrayals of Himalayan landscapes, people, and the interactions between them. Lara Deeb, Journal of Anthropological Research
A well-written, clear and engaging case study of cultural change in the high Himal. Christopher Thoms, Himalaya: The Journal of the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies
Contents
Abbreviations
Acknowlegments
A Note on Tibetan and Nepali Terms
Introduction
1. Dolpo's Agro-Pastoral System
2. Pastoralism, in View and Review
3. A Sketch of Dolpo's History
4. A New World Order in Tibet
5. Nepal's Relations with Its Border Populations and the Case of Dolpo
6. The Wheel Is Broken: A Pastoral Exodus in the Himalayas
7. Visions of Dolpo: Conservation and Development
8. A Tsampa Western
9. Perspectives on Change
Notes
Works Cited
Glossary
Appendix 1: Pasture Toponomy
Appendix 2: Dolpo Plant Species
Index

Second runner-up, Julian Steward Award

About the Author

Kenneth M. Bauer founded DROKPA, a nonprofit organization that partners with pastoral communities to implement grassroots development projects in the Himalayas and Central Asia.