livelihood of sherpa
25 Jun
  • By The Partners Nepal
  • 970 Views
  • 0 Comments

Livelihoods of Sherpa

AGRICULTURE

The Sherpa economy is directly related to their mountain environment and falls into distinct categories: field agriculture, animal husbandry, trade, and recent innovation tourism and mountaineering. The Sherpa’s life in the mountain is harsh and demanding. The Sherpa people use surrounding forests and grasslands for their survival ever since they first migrated into Khumbu from Tibet. Natural resources gathering, farming, and livestock The Sherpa economy is directly related to their mountain environment and falls into distinct categories: field agriculture, animal husbandry, trade, and recent innovation tourism and mountaineering. Sherpa’sSherpa’s life in the mountain is harsh and demanding. The Sherpa people use surrounding forests and grasslands for their survival ever since they first migrated into Khumbu from Tibet. Natural resources gathering, farming, and livestock activities are done based on the four seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn.

LIVESTOCK

The Sherpa people lived as nomads, living as nomads, living from the seasonal wild vegetables and their yaks till the introduction of potatoes to the area. The traditional economic activities of the people were subsistence agriculture, transhumance herding supplemented by barter trade across the Himalayas with Tibet. They soon developed techniques for storing potatoes, fertilizing the ground with human and animal waste with leaf litter, and growing buckwheat and barley. This settled a relatively prosperous community of Sherpa people free from outside interference creating a unique character of their own. Khumbu Sherpas concentrate their efforts on animal husbandry, keeping Yaks and Naks and grazing them along the vast and grassy alpine slopes. Livestock herding is still common in villages where trekking and tourism have not become the dominant economic activity. The main livestock includes yak and nak, cows and bulls, dzo and dzomo, sheep and goats, and horses. Yaks and Naks are the main livestock which is adapted to high altitude as far as 5000m. This livestock is vital for the livelihood benefits as they provide milk, hair, fur, hides, and dung. Yaks and Naks provide wool, milk, and meat.

Among the others, dung is the most essential and livestock product due to dual benefits for fuel and organic fertilizer for agricultural purposes.  However, in recent years, the livestock raised by Sherpas seems to change and declining due to increasing tourism and globalization. According to an estimate, there were about 4,675 heads of livestock in SNPBZ in 2003. The population of male livestock such a dzo and yaks has increased in recent years because of the demand for pack animals to move tourist luggage.

TOURISM

Ever since Nepal opened for Tourism since the early 50s, Nepal became one of the best destinations for trekkers and became the major source of income for the country. Like the rest of the country, the economy of the area changed after Khumbu began to attract increasing numbers of mountaineering and trekking groups following the opening of Nepal to foreign visitors in 1950. Tourism-related activities such as climbing, portering, guiding, and lodge management became dominant economic activities and now determine the way of life. However, slowly the tourism is now replacing traditional livelihood strategies such as livestock herding and farming.

Promote and Monitor Human RightsLeave a Commnet