Horses Like Lightning: A Story of Passage Through the Himalayas

Overview

A tender account - by turns cultural exploration and memoir of a young woman's firsthand experience of change and continuity in one of the worlds most remote regions, through the lens of the horse and "horse culture."

At nineteen, Sienna Craig made her first venture deep into Mustang, an ethnically Tibetan area of Nepal, in the rainshadow of the Himalayas. As an equestrian and a buddhing anthropologist, she sought not only to understand what it was like to rely on horses to ...

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Overview

A tender account - by turns cultural exploration and memoir of a young woman's firsthand experience of change and continuity in one of the worlds most remote regions, through the lens of the horse and "horse culture."

At nineteen, Sienna Craig made her first venture deep into Mustang, an ethnically Tibetan area of Nepal, in the rainshadow of the Himalayas. As an equestrian and a buddhing anthropologist, she sought not only to understand what it was like to rely on horses to navigate through the windswept valleys and plains of High Asia, but also to grasp how horses lent meaning to the lives of the Mustangi people. Through living and working with local Tibetan doctors, veterinarians, and other horse experts, as well as the deep friendships she formed, Sienna began to understand the region's history, and the way life in Mustang was being transformed in the face of temendous social, political, and economic shifts. She learned much about herself and her life's course through her year in Mustang - a place that came to feel, for all its foreignness, like home.

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Editorial Reviews

Pico Iyer
"Many scholars have opened Himalayan cultures up to us with authority and learning, but few have traveled with the open heart and transparent sincerity of Sienna Craig. Horses Like Lightning is a singular dance of innocence and experience."
From the Publisher

"Many scholars have opened Himalayan cultures up to us with authority and learning, but few have traveled with the open heart and transparent sincerity of Sienna Craig. Horses Like Lightning is a singular dance of innocence and experience."
Pico Iyer, author of Sun After Dark: Flights Into the Foreign
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780861715176
  • Publisher: Wisdom Publications MA
  • Publication date: 5/28/2008
  • Pages: 200
  • Sales rank: 1,412,374
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Sienna Craig was born in Santa Barbara, California in 1973. She is the author of a children's book, Clear Sky, Red Earth: A Himalayan Story and A Sacred Geography: Sonnets of the Himalaya and Tibet. She earned her PhD in anthropology from Cornell University and is currently an assistant professor at Dartmouth College. She lives in Vermont with her husband Ken and her daughter Aida.

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Table of Contents


Prologue     1
Part 1
Finding Mustang     9
Come as a Guest, Go as a Friend     19
The Dancing Yak     35
The Family God Horse     42
Keeping Up Appearances     51
Part 2
Mustang Elements     61
Sacrifice at the Jimi Hendrix Restaurant     70
Scars of Tradition     79
In the Shadow of Warriors     90
Part 3
Royal Mustang Excursions     115
Heat and Dust     126
Am I a "Conservation"?     138
Muledrivers and Kings     148
Woodsmoke and Radishes     160
A Ritual, a Birth     173
Part 4
National Geographic     187
A Passing     199
Stones and Lost Children     206
The Story of the Ground     215
To Heal a Horse     221
Part 5
An Intimate Distance     237
Mustang Tour Guide     251
The Brothers     260
Ruins     267
Windhorse     275
Epilogue     285
Acknowledgments     290
Sources and Selected Reading     293
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