Herding in Crisis in the Himalaya

Keywords: crisis, herding, Himalaya region, political-economic process, sustainability


This paper focuses on the change and transformation of herding over the last seven decades to the Nhāson Valley of Manang based on an ethnographic study in 2018. The findings reveal that herding as a traditional source of living for the mountain dwellers, has gradually been transformed due to the linkage to wider political and economic processes, namely, the changes in open-border policy between China and Nepal, the intervention of state programs and its policies toward the people, the expansion of trade and business with tourism, commercialization of Himalayan herbs, climate change, and intervention of agroforestry in the community forest and plantation of high-value cash crops in private lands, youth opportunities to work in aboard. Hence, looking at herding by placing it in a particular place or in isolation by ignoring the wider political and economic processes is misleading, one-sided, and superficial. Moreover, the market economy and the state intervention have brought some new livelihood opportunities to the Himalayan dwellers, although the questions always remain in its sustainability.


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Author Biography

Jiban Mani Poudel, Central Department of Anthropology, Tribhuvan University, Nepal

Jiban Mani Poudel holds Ph.D. from Tribhuvan University (TU), Nepal in 2016. He is a lecturer at the Central Department of Anthropology, Tribhuvan University of Nepal. His works focus on the human-environment relationship, livelihood, and kinship studies. Currently, his area of interest is on human dimensions on climate change in the Himalayan region, especially focusing on documentation on local knowledge, perception and adaptation, language, and climate change.

How to Cite
Poudel, J. (2020). Herding in Crisis in the Himalaya. Dhaulagiri Journal of Sociology and Anthropology, 14, 28-36. https://doi.org/10.3126/dsaj.v14i0.27232