From Zomo to Yak: Change in a Sherpa Village

  • Naomi H. Bishop


Bishop documents a major shift in transhumant herding in a high-altitude Himalayan community. In a village in east-central Nepal, many families are shifting from transhumant agropastoralism involving zomo, a cow-yak hybrid, to herding cows and yaks in order to produce zomo. Zomo are suited to middle altitudes, 7,000 to 11,000 feet, where they produce large quantities of rich milk for butter production. However, the transhumant lifestyle of zomo herders involves living at pastures for much of the years and the constant work of butter production is hard. The new approach utilizing cattle and yak involves change—new management skills, new migration routes, and different marketing strategies.


Cash Income Wage Labor Subsistence Strategy Summer Pasture Middle Altitude 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Naomi H. Bishop
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyCalifornia State UniversityNorthridgeUSA

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