“Himalayan Herders” Reaction Paper
The film “Himalayan Herders” portrayed mountain pastoralists from Himalaya. This movie covered many points on the lifestyle of these indigenous people. This documentary styled film covers many aspects of ethnography. This ranges from religion, to death ceremonies. This video did a very good job of portraying these people and it was very ethnographic about it.
As far as ethnography is concerned, this film is full of it. This group of people is considered pastoralists. This means that they like to remain in one area. Also, they are farmers and herders. An example of this is how potatoes are the staple of their diet. An example of how they are herders includes how they raise Zomo, which are cows in combination with yaks. This is because theses pastoralists use the milk of a cow for many things but live at higher altitudes, which yaks can handle. There is definitely a division of labor among the genders. The women are responsible for tending to the Zomo, milking them and making butter from the milk. The women also have help from the children. While the children are helping, they are also learning how to tend the Zomo for future responsibilities. Essentially the only responsibility the men have in regards to the Zomo is taking them out to feed, while the women have to take the time to milk them, churn butter, and make cheese. Something else that men are responsible for however includes creating objects and art out of color dyed butter for a ceremony called the Nara. Men also have the responsibility of performing the rituals at the Nara. Another aspect of pastoralist culture covered here was their economic system. For a while, the mountain pastoralists of the Himalayas didn’t use a coin or paper form of currency. More often than not, grain was considered currency. Grain could be traded for tools and useful things for the group. More recently...
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