The Himalayan Border Region

Trade, Identity and Mobility in Kumaon, India

  • Christoph Bergmann

Part of the Advances in Asian Human-Environmental Research book series (AAHER)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Christoph Bergmann
    Pages 1-21
  3. Christoph Bergmann
    Pages 23-73
  4. Christoph Bergmann
    Pages 185-189
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 191-195

About this book


Drawing from extensive archival work and long-term ethnographic research, this book focuses on the so-called Bhotiyas, former trans-Himalayan traders and a Scheduled Tribe of India who reside in several high valleys of the Kumaon Himalaya. The area is located in the border triangle between India, the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR, People’s Republic of China), and Nepal, where contestations over political boundaries have created multiple challenges as well as opportunities for local mountain communities. Based on an analytical framework that is grounded in and contributes to recent advances in the field of border studies, the author explores how the Bhotiyas have used their agency to develop a flourishing trans-Himalayan trade under British colonial influence; to assert an identity and win legal recognition as a tribal community in the political setup of independent India; and to innovate their pastoral mobility in the context of ongoing state and market reforms. By examining the Bhotiyas’ trade, identity and mobility this book shows how and why the Himalayan border region has evolved as an agentive site of political action for a variety of different actors.


Border studies Himalayan border region Identity formation Mobility in a border region Trans-Himalayan trade

Authors and affiliations

  • Christoph Bergmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Heidelberg UniversitySouth Asia Institute,HeidelbergGermany

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Earth and Environmental Science
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-29705-7
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-29707-1
  • Series Print ISSN 1879-7180
  • Series Online ISSN 1879-7199
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