Living in the Himalayas

Photographer Cat Vinton fell in love with the Chang Tang-Pa tribe’s life story and asked them to spend two months living with their customs and habits, taking the time to do their job: portraying their way of life in pictures.

The Chang Tang-Pa are nomads living at high altitudes in the Himalayas. Unlike other tribes or indigenous peoples who have been forced to abandon their lands, the Chang Tang-Pa have no sense of pressure from farmers or other “invaders”, since the lands they inhabit are too inhospitable to Agriculture or even living.

With no money and access to technology, this resilient tribe spends days finding food for their herds of goats and sheep – which are, in fact, their true currency. “What is truly incredible in this long and tragic saga is the resilience of these people, the unimpeded power of their faith and strength and determination to survive,” Vinton explained.

During the two months, the photographer lived and ate as another element of the tribe, sharing her tent with a family, kids and sheep. Families live in a Buddhist way of life and every morning Tibetan prayers are performed – is this perhaps their closest resemblance to the rest of the world.


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