Slow Road to China

Meet the Last Remaining Guardians of Ancient Tibetan Culture


 

Concealed within an isolated region of the Himalayas, the people of Humla’s faces are etched with time. They consider themselves to be the last stronghold of pure Tibetan culture.

“THE HUMLA PEOPLE, WITH THEIR TRADITIONS ENCASED NOT ONLY IN CULTURE BUT GUARDED BY THE MOUNTAINS THEY LIVE WITHIN, ARE RESILIENT IN EXPANSIVE WAYS. THEIR LIVES ARE A TESTAMENT TO THE STRENGTH OF COMMUNITY.”

Drew Doggett

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    “Faith is so important in this region. With such little access to the rest of the world, culture and beliefs are preserved within the mountains.”

    Drew Doggett

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    “Here, a woman prepares for winter by drying grass on her roof. The people are in sync with the seasons because they need to be.”

    Drew Doggett

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    “The Humla residents have time and strength etched deep into their faces. I found it to mimic the richness and textures of the land.”

    Drew Doggett

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    Trekking through Nepal with the residents of Humla

     


     

    This is an essential trade route into Tibet. 8 months of the year it is covered in snow and difficult or impossible to navigate.

     

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    Trekking through Nepal with the residents of Humla

     


     

    Prayer flags blow in the breeze in Dharapori, a Buddhist village with architecture typical of mountainside communities.

     

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    Trekking through Nepal with the residents of Humla

     


     

    Hilsa is the only place to get goods in and out of Tibet. Tradesmen begin this route as early as age 12.

     

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    Trekking through Nepal with the residents of Humla


     

    Monks gather in the Namkha Khyung Dzong monastery, the biggest monastery in Humla where Buddhist teachings are carried out and taught to new generations.

     

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    Trekking through Nepal with the residents of Humla


     

    Prayers are delicately etched into stones by hand and left for anyone to admire.

     

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    Trekking through Nepal with the residents of Humla

     


     

    Enclosed by the mountains, Yari is the last village in Nepal before the Tibetan border. Houses here are 500 years old.

     

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    Trekking through Nepal with the residents of Humla


     

    The Namkha Khyung Dzong monastery was originally established by one of the most prominent 19th Century Buddhist masters in Western Tibet.

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    Trekking through Nepal with the residents of Humla

     


     

    From afar, the plots of land in the town of Simikot look like an earthen tapestry.

     

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    Trekking through Nepal with the residents of Humla

     


     

    Overlooking Muchu Village at 11,086 feet

     

     

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    Trekking through Nepal with the residents of Humla

     


     

    This pass is one of many that often becomes blocked by avalanches and not suitable for animals – or humans – to trek through.

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    Trekking through Nepal with the residents of Humla

     


     

    Tradesmen are used to traversing rocky cliffs and narrow passages. At night they hide their horses in caves to prevent snow leopards from attacking them.

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