Website on the Sherpas of Nepal
Himalayan Paradise Trek & Expedition (P.) Ltd.
P.O. Box 23304, Kapan-8, Kathmandu, Nepal. Phone: +977-1-4823172, Cell: +977-1-9841212248
Website: http://www.himalayanparadisetreks.com, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Panorama Himalaya Trekking Pvt. Ltd.
P.O.Box: 25301, Kathmandu, Nepal. Phone: +977-1-2297661, Cell: +977-1-9841426784
Website: http://www.panoramatrekking.com, E-mail: email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org
Annapurna Foothills Treks & Expedition (P.) Ltd.
Nursery Road, Lazimpat, Kathmandu, Nepal Phone: +977-1-4002200, Cell: +977-1-9841579429
Website: http://www.annapurnafoothills.com, E-mail: email@example.com
Sherpa-Italian (pdf, temporaneamente)
Sherpa-English and English-Sherpa Dictionary, by Nicolas Tournadre, Lhakpa Norbu Sherpa, Gyurma Chodrak and Guilleaume Oisel, Kathmandu 2009
Schmidt's dictionary of modern Nepali
of Hewa, Taksindu VDC, Solukhumbu (October 2016) with delayed monsoon clouds (source: Klaus Bender).
The Sherpas (originally Sherwa) are one of the numerous nationalities of the multiethnic state of Nepal. Their main living area is Solu-Khumbu in North-Eastern Nepal, Southwest of Mount Everest (sh.: Chomolungma, nep.: Sagarmatha). This traditional area has been divided several times by administrative measures of the Nepali state.
Solu-Khumbu comprises three regions: Khumbu, Pharak and Shorong (nep.: Solu). The ancestors of the Sherpas immigrated from the East Tibetan region of Kham about 500 years ago (see time table and map). During the next centuries, some other Tibetan families followed them to Khumbu where they were integrated into the Sherpa society. By far the most Sherpas live in Shorong.
Sherpa society is organized along exogamous clans. A hierarchical structure of society, as it is found among Nepal's Hindu castes, is totally strange to Sherpa society. According to the traditional kipat system, the whole Sherpa area was clan land of the Sherpas, i.e. the land belonged to the several clans and not to individuals. This clan land was expropriated with the abolition of the kipat system forced by the expanding Nepali state (final annulment in 1949).
The Sherpa culture is based on the old Nyingmapa Buddhism interspersed with animist and shamanistic practices und conceptions. The Sherpa language is related to modern Tibetan, but only to a lesser degree mutually comprehensible. Since the Sherpa language is not a written and standardized language, the current elites endeavour to introduce a script on the basis of the Tibetan script, even though this alienates the Sherpa language which has developed independently from Tibetan over the centuries (see also experiment with Latin script on this Sherpa web site).Traditionally, the Sherpas live on agriculture and animal husbandry, supported by intra-regional trade. The trade with Tibet across the Nangpa La has almost been brought to a standstill by the politics of the Chinese occupying power in Tibet. A modern source of income is the tourism business. But only a few Sherpas have really made profits of this. Most of the Sherpas involved in the trekking business only find jobs as porters or guides. The access to these jobs is in Kathmandu. So today, many young Sherpas commute between village and capital. But the latter doesn't open broader perspectives for people from ethnic communities.
Pictures (updated 05/04/2016)
Videos (updated 28/08/2016)
Nepal Research, website on Nepal and Himalayan Studies
Yawa (Hewa), Taksindu VDC 6, Solukhumbu, Nepal: Development and history of a Sherpa village
Rheinland-Lorraine-Nepal e.V., Koblenz: Hilfe für Kinder in den Bergdörfern Nepals
Nepalprojekt der Helene-Lange-Schule, Wiesbaden