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by Abbbyy
Last updated 8 years ago

Social Studies
World Culture

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Location: Sherpas live in alpine villages in Eastern Nepal, in the region of South Asia. (see Map). The villages are aprroximately between 3,000 and 4,300 metres above sea level.Topography:Villages are usually built on complex terrain, which includes ridges and valleys. Deep gorges also occur due to rivers such as Dudh Kosi and Bhote Kose.Climate/WeatherThe climate in the region is relatively harsh, with serve winters, during the months from December to February, that average a temperature of -1'C and snow cover from November to February. Summer occurs from June to August, the temperature may vary due to altitude but the average temperature is 12'C. Rainy season occurs during May to August, with rainfall of 105cm.

Physical Aspects

Map of Nepal

Infastructure:There are few proper roads, villages are usually connected by tracks and trails. Goods are transported by animals or people. Housing:Houses are usually 2 storeys, built with stone with wooden flat roofs held by stones. The lower level is used to house livestock, food and firewood. The 2nd foor is the living area, the foor is covered by carpets and rugs and there is no furniture except for benches and platforms used for sitting and sleep. There is also a small space reserved an altar that includes a shrine, insences and butter lamps. Settlements: In larger villages, houses are clustred together in the centre of the agricultural land. They may also have religious monuments (chorten) and a communal mill. In smaller settlements, houses are placed in the middle of the owner's fields. Clothing:The basic garment worn by Sherpas is a Chuba which is influenced by the cold climate. It is an ankle length robe which is bound at the waist by a long sash called a Kara. It is made by hand woven strips of white woolen cloth which is dyed to black or brown. Genders:The role of men is to be the head of the family, they also work as porters or guides. The role of women in daily sherpa life is caring for the children, yak herding and farming. As well as standing in as the head of the family if her husband is a porter or guide and is on an expedition.Agriculture:Potatoes are a staple food in the Sherpa's diet, along with barely, wheat and maize. There is no mechanised farming, plowing is done by an oxen which draws a single bladed plow. Vegetable gardens are also grown, mainly with radishes and cucumbers. Due to their religion, meat is not eaten, however livestock is kept for dairy, butter and yogurt. As well as for thides, wool and load carrying. Yaks are preferred because of their hooves, large lungs and fur which are suited for the harsh environment.


Marriage:The Sherpa society is arranges in different clans called ru. Marriages are usually aranged and they marry out of their own clan. When a marriage occurs, the woman receives a dowry from her husbands family and the man has a share of the estate owned by the woman's family. Religion:Sherpas participate in the religion Tibetan Buddism which encompasses the the values of selflessness and compassion to reach enlightenment. The spritual guides/ leaders are lamas (local priests) and ripoches (leader of priests). Sherpas climb Mt Everst not for personal accomplishment, which is against their religious teachings, but to be closer to the buddhas.The first monastery was opened in 1916 by Lama Gulu, it is at 12,700 ft above sea level. It is a spritiual landmark and also hosts festivals. This includes Mani Rimdu which involves 10 days of prayer to the Buddha of Compassion.

Population: Sherpas have a population of 45,000 people and make up <1% of the Nepal populationLanguage:Speak the Tibetan dialect of Sherpali which has no writing system, However, all Sherpas can speak Nepali and use it for dealings with others.






Mani Rimdu Festival


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