Images from a recent short trek, my starting point was about a long day's walk north from Tar.
|Mountains above Wanla viewed from the west|
|Same ridge viewed from north of their central peak at the pass|
|Yak in the upper Sumdah valley|
|Stinging nettles -- Himalayan variety|
|Descending toward Sumdah|
|Stream below red mountains|
|the village of Chilling to stay the night|
|They let me take the sheep next day....|
|....up to the spring|
|A tibril made by this family|
This tibril is a tea pitcher (used here before thermoses). You put coals in the bottom vessel and nest the tibril in there to keep the tea hot. The dragons? Unbelievable work.
Tsering Jigmet is the name of the current sergar (metalworker) and father of the household. We made a beautiful connection: I heard from him about what changes are happening in the village, many themes familiar to me from living in Tar. Their herd is the last sizable one of the six village households. And I spoke about why we're here and what I find so beautiful and valuable about the traditional life of Ladakh. And what we've lost so much of in the industrialized world. I got to watch him craft brass spoons by hand. With a cold chisel, he crafted leaf patterns onto the handles, and then with great deftness hammered their bowls into beautiful curves. His son has worked with him, and travelled and studied abroad, and now he has returned and chosen to take up the metalwork from his father so that the name of Chilling, famed for centuries for its metalwork, will not pass into the history books.
They say they would love to have a rardzi (shepherd) for the summers, someone who works hard and cares about their culture and language. They didn't ask for any money for the homestay when I left, and I sang some Ladakhi folk songs for them and exchanged contact information with them and said that if there's anything they need in the future that we can help with, let us know. I feel so content, knowing that his son will take up the work and the life in the village.