Saturday, January 3, 2009

Lobbying nomads in Nepal

The only “nomadic” tribesmen in Nepal, Rautes, are lobbying to keep their tradition and livelihood alive.

… The Raute tradition comprises of three salient features: they leave the forest looking for a fresh place to settle on immediately after someone in their tribe dies; they don’t cultivate land; and they hate education. The Rautes hunt monkeys for food. And, to get food grains, they fell trees to make wooden utensils that they then barter for grains in the villages near the forest where they live. They use wooden nails in their products and the tools they use to build the products are also very traditional.

… The Rautes, who are in Kathmandu, say they would like to live like that, but want state support as their livelihood is being threatened both by the popularity of plastic utensils, and by the hindrance posed by villagers with regards to their use of forest wood.