Mustang: Lives and Landscapes of the Lost Tibetan Kingdom

Overview


Hidden in the rain shadow of the Himalaya in one of the most remote corners of Nepal lies Mustang, or the former Kingdom of Lo. Hemmed in by the world’s highest mountain range to the south and an occupied and shuttered Tibet to the north, this tiny Tibetan kingdom has remained virtually unchanged since the 15th century. Today, Mustang is arguably the best-preserved example of traditional Tibetan life left in the world.

Mustang, though, is poised for a change. A new highway will...

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Overview


Hidden in the rain shadow of the Himalaya in one of the most remote corners of Nepal lies Mustang, or the former Kingdom of Lo. Hemmed in by the world’s highest mountain range to the south and an occupied and shuttered Tibet to the north, this tiny Tibetan kingdom has remained virtually unchanged since the 15th century. Today, Mustang is arguably the best-preserved example of traditional Tibetan life left in the world.

Mustang, though, is poised for a change. A new highway will connect the region to Kathmandu and China for the first time, ushering in a new age of modernity and changing Mustang’s desert-mountain villages forever.

Given special access to the restriced area, Taylor Weidman and Nina Wegner traveled through the kindgom documenting its lives and landscapes and creating an enduring record of the Loba heritage. In-depth research and interviews complement a striking visual record of the traditions of Mustang, even as it begins to cope with the forces of modernization that will dictate its future.

The Vanishing Cultures Project partners with rapidly changing traditional and indigenous cultures to safeguard cultural values and practices, collaborating to document lifestyles and traditions, compile an open digital archive, educate the public about global diversity, and fund indigenous cultural initiatives. To find out more, please visit www.vcproject.org.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781939621061
  • Publisher: Goff Books
  • Publication date: 10/14/2014
  • Pages: 120

Meet the Author


His Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is the spiritual and temporal leader of the Tibetan people. Born to a peasant family in a small village called Takster in northeastern Tibet, His Holiness was recognized at the age of two, in accordance with Tibetan tradition, as the reincarnation of his predecessor the 13th Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lamas are the manifestations of the Bodhisattva of Compassion, who chose to reincarnate to serve the people. Dalai Lama means “Ocean of Wisdom.” Tibetans normally refer to His Holiness as Yeshin Norbu, the Wish-fulfilling Gem, or simply, Kundun, meaning “The Presence.”

Nina Wegner is a freelance journalist, multimedia storyteller, and co-founder of the Vanishing Cultures Project. Nina’s work has been published in The Atlantic, the Huffington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, Public Radio International, and other outlets. She is currently a contributor for the Huffington Post, where she writes a column on indigenous issues.

Nina received a B.A. in English with an emphasis on folklore at the University of California, Berkeley. After spending four years working as an editor and marketer for California book publishers, she returned to school in 2008 at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, where she was distinguished as a Newhouse Minority Newspaper Fellow. She received an M.A. in Journalism and worked as a journalist in New York, Florida, and Nepal. She is the author of two books, Mustang: Lives and Landscapes of the Lost Tibetan Kingdom, which garnered a foreword from His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and Mongolia’s Nomads: Life on the Steppe.

Taylor Weidman is a freelance photographer and co-founder of the Vanishing Cultures Project. Taylor’s work has been published by GEO, The Atlantic, NPR, The Christian Science Monitor, The Boston Globe, and many other outlets. His coverage of overcrowding in the penal system of the Philippines was recognized by the Anthropographia Award for Photography and Human Rights and was exhibited in Geneva, Montreal and New York. His coverage of homeless families in Romania won the New Talent Award at the annual Travel Photographer of the Year competition.

Taylor graduated with a Master's in photojournalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Communication at Syracuse University. After working at The Christian Science Monitor, Taylor left the States and completed a long-term photography project about the Tibetan Kingdom of Lo as a Fulbright Fellow in Nepal. This work led to his first book, Mustang: Lives and Landscapes of the Lost Tibetan Kingdom, with a foreword written by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

The Vanishing Cultures Project partners with indigenous communities to safeguard cultural values and practices. VCP collaborates with these communities to document their lifestyles, educate the world about global diversity, advocate for indigenous rights, and empower communities. VCP donates a part of all book proceeds back to the documented community to help support indigenous cultural initiatives.

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