Sunday, 17 January 2010

NGS: India's Nomads

The National Geographic has just published an online feature on India's Lost Nomads. I consider this to be a highly auspicious coincidence as I am about to embark on the Tribes of South Rajasthan & Kutch Photo~Expedition™, whose objectives is to document some of these tribes in a similar geographic area of India.

The informative article is by John Lancaster, who was East Asia bureau chief for the Washington Post, with pictures by Steve McCurry. Here's an excerpt:

"Gadulia Lohar (their name comes from the Hindi words for "cart," gaadi, and "blacksmith," lohar) are among the best known; others are herders, such as the Rabari, famous throughout western India for their bulky turbans and familiarity with all things camel. Some are hunters and plant gatherers. Some are service providers—salt traders, fortune-tellers, conjurers, ayurvedic healers. And some are jugglers, acrobats, grindstone makers, story­tellers, snake charmers, animal doctors, tattooists, basketmakers. All told, anthropologists have identified about 500 nomadic groups in India, numbering perhaps 80 million people—around 7 percent of the country's billion-plus population."

80 million people in 500 nomadic groups??? Our CF cards will melt from the overuse, and we'll run out of storage space!