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Children of the Himalaya

Wilbur Norman | Nepal

Little Boy Walking Across the Dance Circles in the Palace Square
Lo Manthang, Upper Mustang

Despite the growing fractures and balkanization of the world most of us still believe that children will be children.

Many of these children, rather than being left alone at home, accompany a parent to a workplace in the fields, on a riverbed - any place their parents go to scratch out a living. As these kids are still too young to work they simply ‘hang out’. A simple change of clothes and it is easy to imagine them in any financially poor – but culturally rich environment.

These images are from the former Kingdom of Lo, today's Mustang, a remote and restricted area on the north slope of the Nepal Himalaya. Surrounded by Tibet on three sides most of its people live a life similar to that of their forebears.

Life, however, is changing rapidly in Upper Mustang. Two years ago electricity arrived and sketchy mobile service is now available. As well, the completion of a Chinese-built one lane, dirt road has brought the arrival of SUVs and trucks that deliver, among other necessities, snack foods.

As a former anthropologist I am interested in people-to-people relationships and the dynamics of their interactions during periods of rapid cultural upheaval and change. I am also interested in documenting the other side of this human currency: societies that attempt to retain their age-old manners and time-honored traditions in the face of the technological, environmental and political pressures of an encroaching modern world.

Wilbur Norman

P.O. Box 826

Tesuque, NM, USA 87574




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