111109121 03 - Daily Mail India

The Cashmere crisis in the Himalayan ice desert


British photographer Andrew Newey has documented the lives of the Changpa nomads in Kashmir, inspecting the threats to their Pashmina wool manufacturing.

Image copyright
Andrew Newey

Image caption

Changra goats being herded again dwelling after an extended chilly day in the mountains

Andrew Newey spent two weeks with the Changpa nomads in freezing situations in Ladakh, in Indian-administered Kashmir.

To accompany his photograph collection, Newey additionally realized about the historical past of Pashmina wool manufacturing, and the threats to the nomadic shepherds’ lifestyle and traditions.

He explains in his personal phrases: “At an altitude of greater than 14,000ft, the place winter temperatures can fall to -40 levels Celsius, it’s laborious to imagine anybody or something can survive in this huge ice desert that’s the Changthang Plateau.

A view of mountains in the Ladakh Range

Image copyright
Andrew Newey

Image caption

The Ladakh Range has a median top of about 6,000 metres. The mountain ranges in the area had been shaped over a interval of 45 million years by the folding of the Indian Plate into the stationary landmass of Asia

“Situated between the Himalayan and Karakorum mountain ranges, it’s the highest completely inhabited plateau in the world, and residential to a particularly hardy and uncommon breed of goat – the Changra, or Pashmina goat.

A herd of Changa goats in the snow

Image copyright
Andrew Newey

Image caption

The Changra goats are completely at dwelling in the excessive mountains, however when heavy snow falls and freezes, their meals turns into troublesome to get to. The Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council offers fodder and meals dietary supplements to keep away from hunger.

“The excessive altitude, freezing temperatures and harsh bitter winds in this unforgiving mountainous area are important to stimulate the development of the goats’ super-soft undercoat.

“The fibres measure a mere eight to 10 microns in width, making it round 10 occasions finer than human hair and eight occasions hotter than sheep wool.

“This luxurious fibre is understood the world over as Pashmina, the softest and costliest sort of Cashmere wool in the world.

A herder with Changra goats in the snow

Image copyright
Andrew Newey

Image caption

A herder prepares his Changra goats to relaxation for the evening, earlier than persevering with their journey the following day

“For centuries the Changpa nomads, who themselves are as hardy as their animals, have roamed ‘the roof of the world’, shifting their herds of yak, sheep and goats alongside conventional migratory routes in this excessive altitude desert each few months, in search of contemporary grazing pastures.

A herder stands in front of his stone house

Image copyright
Andrew Newey

Image caption

A Changpa nomad, named Lobsang, stands proudly in entrance of his winter home. The yak pores and skin on the left will likely be dried out and the hair used to make a tent to dwell in throughout spring and summer time in the Zara Valley

“This historical lifestyle is now very a lot beneath menace from local weather change, faux Pashmina imports from China, the want for higher training and the want merely for a neater and extra snug life.

A woman stands wrapped up in many layers of clothing

Image copyright
Andrew Newey

Image caption

Village elder Bhuti is seen wrapped up towards the icy wind of the plateau

Presentational white space

Two herders load up their yaks

Image copyright
Andrew Newey

Image caption

The herders use the least cussed yaks as transportation

“The nomads and scientists alike are adamant that local weather change is the largest menace to Pashmina manufacturing in the area.

“The Changthang plateau doesn’t normally get a lot snowfall, and if it does, it begins in January or February.

“However, for the previous couple of years it has been more and more heavy, beginning as early as December, even November.

“As a consequence, meals dietary supplements must be introduced in to forestall the animals dying from hunger. Also, the winters have been getting hotter, which has lowered the high quality and amount of the worthwhile Pashmina wool.

A shepherdess with her goats travels across a mountainous region

Image copyright
Andrew Newey

Image caption

Shepherdess Dorjee leads her goats over a ridge and into the valley under

“Cashmere is pricey, and rightly so. The Changpa rigorously comb the hair throughout the spring moulting season to reap the downy undercoat, after which the good fibre is laboriously separated from the unhealthy by hand.

A shepherd runs a comb through the hair of a Changra goat

Image copyright
Andrew Newey

Image caption

The goats naturally start shedding their hair in the spring moulting season and herders harvest it utilizing a particular comb, to forestall it being dropped throughout the mountains

Presentational white space

A shepherd holds goat hair

Image copyright
Andrew Newey

Image caption

As with the combing and harvesting, the hair can be processed by the males. This includes the time-consuming job of separating the coarse outer hair from the finer smooth undercoat

A bowl of Cashmere goat hair

Image copyright
Andrew Newey

Image caption

The wool from a single Cashmere goat quantities to a mere 4 ounces

“Once the fibres are manually sorted, cleaned and hand-spun, the weaving course of can start, which is equally demanding and painstaking.

A woman weaves threads on a loom on her lap

Image copyright
Andrew Newey

Image caption

Changpa girls who’ve given up the nomadic herding life, spend a lot of their time weaving in the again yards of their homes in the Changpa neighbourhood Kharnak Ling, 180km (110 miles) from the Changthang plateau

“It takes a number of months to a yr for extremely expert artisans to work their magic on picket looms and weave a masterpiece which will likely be exported round the world, promoting for between £150 ($200) and £1,500 ($2,000) by luxurious retailers.

Colourful folded Pashmina shawls

Image copyright
Andrew Newey

Image caption

The completed product: Pashmina shawls, additionally known as stoles, on sale in a high-end Cashmere retailer in Delhi

“Another subject of concern is the growing variety of snow leopards in the area, placing their animals at growing threat of assault. This is a results of the profitable conservation efforts over the final decade.

A shepherd with his goats on a snowy mountainside

Image copyright
Andrew Newey

Image caption

A shepherd together with his goat herd

“The menace to Pashmina goat-rearing would imply the finish of the livelihoods of about 300,000 folks in the Jammu and Kashmir state who, straight or not directly, rely on Pashmina.

“It would additionally imply an finish to the distinctive tradition of the Changpas; most of them are followers of Tibetan Buddhism, and have an elaborate set of customs centred round their livestock.”

A Buddhist temple sits on top of a hill

Image copyright
Andrew Newey

Image caption

A Buddhist temple sits on a hill overlooking Kharnak Ling, the Changpa neighbourhood on the outskirts of Leh metropolis, the place households who’ve given up the nomadic herding life now dwell

Presentational white space

Morning light strikes Stok Kangri

Image copyright
Andrew Newey

Image caption

First gentle strikes Stok Kangri, the highest mountain in Leh, at 6,154m (20,190ft)

Presentational white space

A shepherd and his herd

Image copyright
Andrew Newey

Image caption

A shepherd and his herd set out in search of contemporary grazing pastures

.



Source link

READ ALSO :  Air tickets booked before Covid-19 lockdown may be refunded