The Sherpa of Nepal Essay example
“Sherpa”, a term derived from words meaning “people” and “east”, refers to a cultural groupthat numbers about 35,000 and whose members occupy parts of India, Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan (Sherpa Friendship Asscn,1999:1), though most groups are found in Nepal (Stevens 1993: 31). It is generally understood that the Sherpa came to Nepal from eastern Tibet about 500 years ago (www.rip.physics.unk.edu/Nepal/NPE 1999:2). This research paper will focus on the Nepalese Sherpa. It will explore socio-ecological aspects of their lives, including their cultural and ecological adaptations. In addition, it will highlight changes in Sherpa culture and the relationship brought about by outside influences.
Nepal is a relatively …show more content…
Villages serve territorial, political, and ritualistic functions. These settlements consist of families who work towards conserving natural resources, aid in public peace and harmony, and assist in ritual activities (Furer-Haimendorf 1964:100). When not in the village, the Sherpas live in goths (huts inhabited while herding) which in addition to being a shelter, serves as a cultural identification for each herder (Bishop 1998:25). Socially, the Sherpa use a clan system to determine marriages and identities. This identity is inherited through the father (Sherpa Friendship Association,1999:2). Each Sherpa clan also has a mountain god whom they look to as a protectorate, creating a sense of unity within the clan (Furer-Haimendorf 1964:21-23). The clans are all essentially equal, and their members are dispersed amongst the villages