The Sherpas Essay by RightRiters

The Sherpas
A discussion of the problems facing the Sherpas in moving into the twenty-first century.
# 23761 | 917 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2002 | US
Published on Apr 16, 2003 in Anthropology (Asian) , Ethnic Studies (Asia) , Sociology (General)

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This paper examines how the Sherpas are a unique and intriguing culture that live in and throughout the Himalayan Mountains. The paper explains how, after being separate from the influence of the "modern" world for hundreds of years, the advent of mountaineering has propelled them into the modern age. It shows how rather than completely assimilate into a modern society, the Sherpas have risen to the occasion and created their own identity using the contemporary world as a model while staying true to their cultural beliefs.

From the Paper:

"The westernization of the Sherpas had begun in earnest. Prior to 1950 the mountaineers romanticized the Sherpas, claiming that the conquering of the mountain is what truly drove the Sherpas to assist with the expeditions. (Ortner 44) This was not true. For the Sherpas "climbing mountains had no indigenous value whatsoever, and was religiously problematic" (Ortner, 203) The trade system by which the Sherpas had survived upon was being slowly dismantled and income was needed, mountaineering fit the bill. Prior to 1950 the Sherpas had to travel to procure work as porters "because Nepal was closed to foreigners in the first half of the twentieth century, climbing in the central Himalayas was organized out of Darjeeling." (Ortner, 30 ) This changed after the 1953 Hillary expedition much to the Sherpas advantage."

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