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Photographer's Note

The real reason I decided to go to Bhutan were not the snow-capped mountains, traditional temples or monks' red robes but the hats made of yak hair like the one this lady is wearing. The moment I saw a photo of a Brokpa person I was hooked and knew I had to go.

Brokpa people are a group of semi nomadic yak herders inhabiting small villages in the Himalaya. Some of the men spend part of the year away from their village on higher grounds where yaks graze which is one of the reasons why polyandry is a common practice - one of the husbands (usually one of two brothers) stays at home...

This image was taken in the village of Merak situated 3500 metres above sea level along the Merak Sakteng trek which was opened for foreigners only in 2010. Not many Western tourists have had the privilege so far to meet the Brokpas in their own villages.

When I was there I saw a road being built so it will not be long before many more tourists reach those places. But hurry up if you want to see the traditional hats - the younger generation do not wear them any more.

In WS more Brokpa people portraits.

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Additional Photos by Kasia Nowak (kasianowak) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 424 W: 1 N: 387] (4840)
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