Animated landscapes : an ethnography of change in two ethnic Tibetan villages in Nepal.
This thesis examines the changing landscapes of tvvo ethnic Tibetan
villages in Mustang District, Nepal. It explores the relationship between the social,
physical and spiritual realms of the landscape through local idioms of movement.
Comparison is also grounded in local conceptualisations and, coupled with an
historical perspective, attempts to reveal the larger patterns and processes at 'NOrk
behind the variations apparent within the t\No villages today. Following an
examination of the historical development of village level organisation, and the
movements which have occurred in local politics from the feudal era to the present
day, it explores, in tum, transformations within each of the interconnected social,
physical and spiritual realms.
The social realm is considered in terms of the highly nuanced interactions
between individuals and households, while the wider ramifications of these
relationships are explored by looking at social structure and ranking both within the
village and wider region. The next section, dealing with the physical realm,
investigates how and why different subsistence and economic strategies have
evolved in the t\No villages, and how this has altered people's relationships with the
spirits and deities which inhabit the area. Finally, movements within the spiritual
realm are addressed. This discussion highlights the interplay between different
belief systems and looks at how the dialogue between sects affects relationships
between clerics and non-clerics, the form of household and community ritual, and
conceptions of the sacred landscape.