Nomads of Bhutan and Tibet, photographed by Daniel Miller between 1980 - 2000
Nomadic pastoralism has been portrayed as one of the great advances in the evolution of mankind. It is an adaptation by people to grassland areas of the world where the raising of livestock is more supportive of human life than the growing of crops. People who specialize in livestock production requiring periodic movements of their herds are known as nomadic pastoralists, or, simply nomads. The survival of nomads on the Tibetan Plateau and Himalaya provides examples of nomadic practices that were once widespread throughout Asia and Africa, but are now increasingly hard to find. As such, these portraits of nomads offer a rare glimpse into a way of life that is rapidly vanishing.
The lives of the nomads are tuned to the growth of the grass and the seasonal pulse of the grazing lands. The grasslands provide the theatre in which the nomads and their animals interact to make a living. Over centuries, the nomads acquired complex knowledge about the environment in which they lived and upon which their lives depended, which enabled them to persist in one of the most inhospitable places on earth. But, they did more than just survive. The nomads created a unique, vibrant culture, about which, even today, so little is known.