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Himalayan Herders has been part of our lives since 1971 when Naomi studied the socio-ecology of langur monkeys in the forests above Melemchi. We shot the film in 1986 and 1989 when the subsistence economy of herding and farming was competing with wage labor outside the village. The film pays particular attention to the material culture, knowledge, and skills of mountain pastoralists, while observing the changes that come from incorporation into a National Park, infusion of capital from international wage labor, and political changes in Nepal. Since completing the film in 1996, we have remained in contact and anticipate finishing a second film on Melemchi as it moves forward in time.

Additional information about this temple village in the Yolmo Valley of Central Nepal can be found in the book, Himalayan Herders (ISBN 0-15-505172-5) by Naomi Bishop.The book and film are an excellent combination for teaching the anthropology, geography, and religion of this region.

The DVD is programed so that the film can be shown in two or three parts. It is also easy to locate individual scenes with the aid of on-screen menus and a printable transcript. Topics such as herding, agriculture, religion, and culture change are available as individual segments, using menus provided.



In addition to the 75 minute film, this DVD includes -

  • Update 2002 video
  • Making Himalayan Herders video
  • Scene selection, play-by-topic, and play-in-segments viewing options
  • Making Himalayan Herders article (PDF)
  • An Ever-Changing Place full text of the 1978 book by John and Naomi Bishop (PDF)
  • Himalayan Herders film transcript (PDF)
  • Himalayan Herders excerpt from 1996 book by Naomi Bishop (PDF)

featured at
Taiwan International Ethnographic Film Festival (Taipei 2005)
Ethno Filmfest (Berlin 1999)
Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival (Arkansas 1999)
Mostra International Film Festival (Rio de Janiro 1999)
18th Bilan du Film Ethnographique at the Musee de l'homme (Paris 1999)
12th Parnu International Documentary and Anthropology Film Festival (Estonia 1998)
Beeld Voor Beeld Film Festival (Amsterdam 1998)
4th Göttingen Ethnographic Film Festival (Germany 1998)
Black Maria Film Festival (New Jersey 1998)
Film South Asia (Kathmandu 1997)
Margaret Mead Film & Video Festival (New York 1997)
Society of Visual Anthropology, Honorable Mention (1997)

Sundance Film Festival

What others have said--

  • Himalayan Hereders is a gorgeous piece of filmmaking, visually ravishing and made all the more special by its expert scholarship and inherent respect for the culture. --Brent Kliewer The New Mexican
  • ...a visually compelling and ethnographically incisive film. --James Fisher American Anthropologist

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