Saturday, 23 January 2016

Jan Møller Hansen | The Raute of Nepal

Photo © Jan Møller Hansen-All Rights Reserved 

The Raute are the last hunter-gatherers of Nepal and are only a handful of societies that still do so around the world. It is estimated that they are less than 150, and are the last nomadic people of Nepal. The forests that were their traditional home have more or less disappeared, but they still follow their ancient way of life, staying in one place for a few weeks, then moving on.

Despite pressures of modernity, they wish to remain full-time foragers and reject assimilation into the surrounding farming population. They subsist by hunting langur and macaque monkeys, and gathering wild yams, rice and a few kinds of vegetables traded from local farmers.

The Raute are constantly on the move. They hold no jobs, or and no one goes to school. They grow no crops of any kind and have no livestock. Largely dependent on government handouts, they resist conformity, and remain intractable, secretive and deeply suspicious of outsiders. This, they believe, will preserve their identity and ensure their survival as a distinct community.

The Last Hunters and Gatherers of the Himalayas is an exhaustive photographic gallery of the Raute consisting of 253 photographs by Jan Møller Hansen.

Jan Møller Hansen is a self-taught photographer, who works in visual story telling and social documentary. He lived four years in Nepal (1991-1995), four years in Vietnam (2000-2004), five years in Bangladesh (2007-2012) and worked in short-term diplomatic and international development cooperation assignments in a number of Asian and African countries. 

He currently resides and works in Kathmandu, Nepal. When time permits, he works on various themes in Nepal and in the Himalayan region. He speaks Nepali and has in-depth knowledge about Nepal and the region. In 2015, he published the photo book "Images of Nepal" and was recognized as IPA People Photographer of the Year 2015.