Two young Americans take us to Humla, an ancient territory at the edge of Nepal where no Westerner has ever lived before. In breathtaking photographs and evocative prose, Thomas Kelly and Carroll Dunham capture Humlas limitless vistas and disclose intimate details of the lives of its extraordinary people: yak herders, caravan drivers, shamans, and brides who are shared among brothers.
Here is a land of eternally snow-capped mountains and sweeping valleys. A land as eerie and forbidding as the landscape of some distant moon, its people all but forgotten by the rest of the world. Their lives are a struggle — the alpine soil metes out sustenance grudgingly, and long winters threaten to banish the warmth of life forever. Yet these lives yield untold riches. As if the splendid isolation and sheer altitude of the hidden Himalayas bring them closer to the gods, the people of this land are possessed of a spirituality few Westerners will ever know.
Kellys extraordinary photographs are accompanied by Dunhams evocative and lyrical account of life as the people of Humla conceive it: a cycle of fall, winter, spring, and summer. In a world made easy, accessible, and all too familiar by supersonic travel, television, and communication at the click of a mouse, here is an enlightening glimpse into the lives of a virtually untouched people.
Born in New Mexico and educated in Chicago and Rome, Thomas L. Kelly served as a Peace Corps volunteer and as a program director for CARE. Fluent in the Nepalese language, he has established an audiovisual business in Kathmandu, Nepal, where he now lives.
V. Carroll Dunham is an anthropologist and writer who is director of Sojourn Nepal, a program that promotes self-growth through interaction with Tibetan and Nepalese culture.