New from Asian Highlands Perspectives - AHP 31: The Lost World of Ladakh: Early Photographic Journeys through Indian Himalaya, 1931-1934

Caplow, Nancy nancy.caplow at OKSTATE.EDU
Wed Jul 30 03:12:47 UTC 2014

Thank you! This is so interesting!

~ Nancy
From: The Tibeto-Burman Discussion List [tibeto-burman-linguistics at LISTSERV.LINGUISTLIST.ORG] on behalf of Randy LaPolla [randy.lapolla at]
Sent: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 8:26 PM
Subject: Re: New from Asian Highlands Perspectives - AHP 31: The Lost World of Ladakh: Early Photographic Journeys through Indian Himalaya, 1931-1934

More on Helena Norberg-Hodge and her work: Jana Fortier sent me a copy of a paper of Norberg-Hodge's called "Towards an Economics of Happiness" (HELENA NORBERG-HODGE AND STEVEN GORELICK). If you Google "Towards an Economics of Happiness HELENA NORBERG-HODGE AND STEVEN GORELICK" you come up with some other valuable links, not only to the paper, but also to info about a documentary of the same name they produced and some reviews.


On 28 Jul, 2014, at 10:37 pm, Nathan Hill <nathanwhill at<mailto:nathanwhill at>> wrote:

Dear Randy,

The Ladakh project is still very much around.

The founder, an MIT trained linguist, is Helena Norberg-Hodge. She came out with a Ladakhi dictionary many years ago.

Ladakhi English English Ladakhi : dictionary
by Helena Norberg-Hodge;
Leh: The Ladakh Ecological Development Group, 1991.

Those interested may also want to know about SECMOL an education charity in Ladakh.

Their publication arm, Melong, has the following two books.

Getting Started in Ladakhi. Rebecca Norman. Leh, Ladakh: Melong Publications (2001).

Ladakhi—English—Urdu Dictionary with an English-Ladakhi index. Abdul Hamid. Leh, Ladakh: Melong Publications (1998).

Rebecca Norman also has a draft dictionary that is much larger.

Dr Nathan W. Hill
Lecturer in Tibetan and Linguistics
Department of China & Inner Asia and Department of Linguistics
SOAS, University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG, UK
Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4220
Profile --
Tibetan Studies at SOAS --

On Mon, Jul 28, 2014 at 10:31 AM, Randy LaPolla <randy.lapolla at<mailto:randy.lapolla at>> wrote:
Speaking of Ladakh, many years ago (1980's) at Berkeley I heard a woman give a talk on "The Ladakhi Project", which was an attempt to get the people in Ladakh to stop moving toward a petroleum-based economy, and to help them go back to a self-sustaining economy with things such as solar stoves and whatnot. The project included writing a dictionary of the language. Does anyone know what happened to that project?


On 28 Jul, 2014, at 2:55 pm, Gerald Roche <gjroche at GMAIL.COM<mailto:gjroche at GMAIL.COM>> wrote:

Dear all,

The editors of Asian Highlands Perspectives are pleased to announce the publication of:

AHP 31: The Lost World of Ladakh: Early Photographic Journeys through Indian Himalaya, 1931-1934

By Rupert Wilmot, Roger Bates, and Nicky Harman, with a Foreword by Khenpo K. Rangdol, President of Tserkarmo Monastery, Ladakh, India.

The Lost World of Ladakh is a superb collection of 150 black-and-white photographs of 1930s Ladakh, capturing its final days as a hub of trade routes between Tibet and Kashmir, India and Yarkand. These portraits of people, landscapes and Buddhist ceremonies taken by amateur photographer Rupert Wilmot, are notable for their careful composition, fine detail and engaging informality. They have been meticulously researched and captioned by Nicky Harman and Roger Bates, respectively, niece and nephew of Rupert Wilmot, and include maps, an introduction and a bibliography. Of considerable historical and ethnographic interest.

The volume is available as an at-cost hard copy (28.29USD):

…and as a free download:

…with an additional appendix:

What other writers have said about The Lost World of Ladakh:
“A wonderfully elegaic set of photographs recording a lost world: an almost mediaeval Ladakh  untouched by modernity and still living at the hub of the old trans-Himalayan trade routes, a timeless Central Asia where soot writing boards, itinerant monks, arcane astrologers, masked dancers and elaborate turquoise headdresses were still common. These skillfully restored photographs make me ache to cross again the snowy heights of the Zoji-la and to re-visit this most fascinating region to see what is left.”
William Dalrymple, author of  Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan, 1839-42

“Rupert Wilmot’s pictures are a delight. The monastery images include a spectacular set of the religious dance-drama at Hemis. There is also a visual record of the trades that lifted so many of Ladakh's villagers above the poverty level: the bustle in Leh Bazaar, the interior of a serai, and caravans of sheep, donkeys and ponies. Perhaps the book’s most outstanding feature is the series of portraits of Wilmot’s fellow-travellers and other Ladakhis, most of them in relaxed and cheerful mode, rather than posing stiffly.”
Dr Janet Rizvi, writer and historian of Ladakh, Kashmir and the western Himalaya

“These illustrations, superb as photographs in their own right, capture in visual form the essence of Ladakhi life as it was in the 1930s.  While the Ladakh pictured here is in many ways gone, its legacy lives on in the distinctive culture of present-day Ladakh, which cannot be fully appreciated without a knowledge of its history.  In this book we have a unique and vital contribution to that history.”
Dr Philip Denwood, Emeritus Reader in Tibetan Studies, SOAS, University of London

Claude Rupert Trench Wilmot (1897-1961) was a British army officer stationed in India during the 1930s, and a talented amateur photographer.

Nicky Harman translates Chinese literature, and was formerly a lecturer at Imperial College London.

Roger Bates digitized the photographs. A retired engineer, he has many years of experience working in digital photography.

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