‘To climb steep hills, requires slow pace at first: narratives of cultural resilience in the community of Langtang, in the Nepalese Himalayas
Issue: Vol 2 No. 2 (2015)
Journal: Journal of Contemporary Archaeology
Subject Areas: Archaeology
This photo essay explores the notion of cultural resiliency in the Nepali Himalayas, and carries a geographic focus that is centred on the village of Langtang. Our interest in capturing this area photographically emerges from several recent fieldwork excursions to Nepal and associated experiences of trekking through two distinct areas: the Langtang Valley and the Annapurna Conservation Area. During our visits to each area, we were struck by local efforts to secure a future in a rapidly changing environment. In the Annapurnas, an overarching story of encroaching development emerges, which has destabilised the fragile balance between conservation and development. In Langtang, by contrast, there is a more positive testimony of nearly half a century of cultural compromises necessary for ecological security (e.g., regulation of medicinal plant harvesting), entailing cultural adaptations into a more diverse range of vocational enterprises (like a community cheese-making factory, tourism and so forth). Our purpose in this essay is to engage with, and illustrate, some of the differences between the two.
Author: Hayley Saul, Emma Waterton
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