Bronze Bust Of a Tibetan Man, Early 1900's.

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Bronze Bust Of a Tibetan Man, Early 1900's.

 

Everest is so tall and its climate so severe that it is incapable of supporting the sustained human occupation, but the valleys below the mountain are inhabited by Tibetan-speaking peoples. Notable among these are the Sherpas, who live in villages at elevations up to about 14,000 feet (4,270 metres) in the Khumbu valley of Nepal and other locations. Traditionally an agricultural people with little cultivable land at their disposal, the Sherpas for years were traders and led a semi-nomadic lifestyle in their search for pastureland. In summer, livestock was grazed as high as 16,000 feet (4,880 metres), while winter refuge was taken at lower elevations on sheltered ledges and along riverbanks.

Living in close proximity to the world’s highest mountains, the Sherpas traditionally treated the Himalayas as sacred, building Buddhist monasteries at their base, placing prayer flags on the slopes, and establishing sanctuaries for the wildlife of the valleys that included musk deer, monal pheasant, and Himalayan partridge. Gods and demons were believed to live in the high peaks, and the Yeti (the so-called Abominable Snowman) was said to roam the lower slopes. For these reasons, the Sherpas traditionally did not climb the mountains.

However, beginning with the British expeditions of the early 20th century, surveying and portering work became available. Eventually, the respect and pay earned in mountaineering made it attractive to the Sherpas, who, being so well adapted to the high altitudes, were capable of carrying large loads of cargo over long distances. Though Sherpas and other hill people (the name Sherpa came to be applied erroneously to all porters) tend to outperform their foreign clients, they typically have played a subordinate role in expeditions, rarely, for example, has one of their names been associated with a pioneering route on Everest. The influx of foreign climbers and, in far greater numbers, trekkers have dramatically changed Sherpa life, as their livelihood increasingly has come to depend on these climbing expeditions.

Item Code - BRO7B42DYA

Width: 8 3/4"  Height: 6 3/8"  Depth: 4 1/2"  Weight: 1.722 kg


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