The Last Hunters and Gatherers of the Himalayas

PhotographerJan Møller Hansen
PrizeHonorable Mention
Entry Description

The nomadic Rautes are the last hunters and gatherers of the Himalayas. The Rautes, who call themselves Kings of Forests, subsist on langur and macaque monkeys, wild yams, rice and a few kinds of vegetables traded from local farmers. Their main occupation is to trade and exchange of wooden items in nearby villages and bazaars. They migrate from river valleys up to middle hills in the Western parts of Nepal living in temporary camps hidden away from the villages in remote parts of the forests. The nomadic Rautes belong to nowhere and everywhere, and they have their own language, culture and beliefs. The Rautes believe in the sun god Berh that represents eternity. The Rautes has managed to avoid forcible assimilation and have not settled in villages and adopted Hindu beliefs and practices. Rather they continue their traditional life travelling through the forests of Western Nepal. The community includes 156 persons.

About Photographer

Jan Moeller Hansen is a self-taught and international award-inning photographer, who works with social documentary. During his five years in Bangladesh (2007-2012), he walked around in slums, workshops, brick kilns, ship breaking yards and many other places photographing slum people, acid survivors, transgenders, ship breakers and many other oppressed and marginalised people. Jan Moeller Hansen is a former Danish senior diplomat. In April 2015, he published the book Images of Nepal, Jagadamba Press Kathmandu.