Fieldwork Videos

Pilgrimage to Pungyen Gomba (Nubri, May 2013)

Educating Blacksmith Kids (Nubri, November 2012)

Yaks (Nubri, November 2012)

Tribute to Yonten Gyamtso (Nubri, January 2013)






In May 2013 I had the pleasure of accompanying the entire village of Sama on a pilgrimage to nearby Pungyen Gomba. The guest of honor, 94-year-old Tashi Dorje, is probably the most revered lama in all of Nubri. Pungyen Gomba is a temple dedicated to the protector deity who resides on Gang Pungyen (Mt. Manaslu), the mountain that towers above Sama.








Kamis (blacksmiths) are considered outcastes in Himalayan societies. They can only marry within their group, and their children are often prohibited from attending school alongside other kids. In 2012 Purbu Tsewang, headmaster of the boarding school in Sama, decided to defy tradition by admitting kami children. Listen to the powerful speech Lama Tashi Tsering gave to the villagers when he heard what had transpired.







The yak (bos grunniens) is one of the mainstays of the Tibetan highland economy. It is used for carrying loads, and is valued for its meat, wool, and dairy.








Yonten Gyamtso was one of the first people who befriended me in Nubri when I commenced fieldwork there in 1995. He was a man of great compassion and generosity. Sadly, he passed away in late 2012. When I learned the news I composed this brief tribute to my friend.