"Wading neck deep in a swamp, your revolver is neither use nor ornament until you have had time to clean it" Mary H. Kingsley (1897)


The Tsomoriri Wetlands provide a winter home to nomadic shepherds.
They spend the milder summer months in the mountain highlands.

We were invited to look into the tents and see their way of life.

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This “inspection” made me feel rather uncomfortable: I worried that they felt like mere exhibits.
But what they really thought I will, of course, never know.


6 responses

  1. Toffeeapple

    Everything looks so desolate, what beauty can they find in nature there?

    May 31, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    • There is beauty of sorts but, as always, it is in the eye of the beholder.

      Their main preoccupation is, I’m sure, just survival. Aesthetics are pure luxury in such surroundings..

      May 31, 2012 at 9:23 pm

  2. Seeing the inside of their tent is a bit like seeing into their nomadic soul – life stripped down to the bare essentials. This is probably a romantic notion, but I imagine that they are not stuck in life’s cycles but co-exist with them, partaking in them with a freedom that is unknown to most of us.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    • I think you’ve hit on something.

      In many ways it is we who are imprisoned – in our comfort zones, and by our possessions..

      May 31, 2012 at 10:09 pm

  3. When we look at their lives through “our” eyes we are sure to see it wanting – how could they live with so little? Yet I am sure if they viewed our lives through their eyes, they wound wonder how we lived with so much excess!

    June 1, 2012 at 3:58 am

    • Try as we might, I wonder if it’s almost impossible to really understand how others view their own lives – and ours.

      These nomads, the only group with whom we interacted, were very gentle and friendly towards us. They seemed to bear no resentments about our relatively easy and opulent lives. But that seemed to be the case with all the Ladakhis we came across. Their culture actively welcomes and befriends the stranger.

      June 1, 2012 at 10:07 am

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