Photographer Documents the Last Hunter-Gatherer Tribe of the Himalayas
Germany-based Nepalese documentary photographer Ram Paudel recently released a fascinating photo project that explores the lifestyle of a nomadic tribe called the Raute. This traditional community, who’s primarily settled into the foothills of the Himalayas, migrates month by month through the forests of western Nepal. Paudel returned to his home country and trekked deep into the area to capture an intimate glimpse of their ancient way of life.
Historically, the self-described “Kings of the Forest” survive off monkey meat and exchange wooden crafts with other villages in return for grain and vegetables. However, the shifting global climate change is strongly affecting their nomadic lifestyle. A dwindling monkey population and influx of plastic products means the future of the tribe appears more uncertain with each passing year. “Fiercely resistant to change, the Raute elders are determined to upkeep their traditional values and preserve their unique identity, while in contrast the youth long to reach out to the outside world,” Paudel told us in an email.
The photographer’s striking series provides a vital perspective of not only the Raute’s ancient way of life, but also a documentation of their most authentic existence amidst changing circumstances.