THE ANCIENT KINGDOM OF LO
The region of Mustang belongs to Nepal, but it is considered a small Tibet due to its culture and religion, enclosed on three sides as in a treasure chest between its borders. It is a remote region, separated from Nepal by the high Himalayan range, always been a land of border and passage, only in 1992 open to foreigners.
Saints and explorers, merchants and pilgrims, have travelled the long valley whose high walls have been gouged out by the rushing Kali Gandaki river. The salt caravans that descended towards the south carrying wool and rock salt from Tibet, returned north from India and Nepal loaded with rice, and still further north they crossed the Silk Road coming from the Far East.
Although Mustang is still a little known region of Nepal, in recent years several factors are causing it to experience radical changes. Its territory, rich in history and a millenarian culture, risks disappearing, threatened by advancing desertification and mass tourism.
I created a project, named "On The Way To Dolpo", to explore places in the world not altered by massive tourism yet. The journey in Mustang was the first of a series.
Here there is just a portfolio selection of pictures that will represent my story-reportage on this place.
These hands are the real artists of this place. They have created curves, shapes, lines, colours, they have given life.
These faces furrowed with the wrinkles of the age, of the wind, of the powerful sun tell and witness the changes.
The bodies crushed under the weight of time have carried the poverty and riches of this land. They are the concrete expressions of the balance between Humans and Nature which here has lasted for thousands of years.
The heart reveals itself shyly.
It shows itself as a warm and welcoming place where the inner light of Peace and Pride penetrates.
Here I have found people who still live by sharing their lives, who still help each other, who work together and together take care of their needs.
Big hearts, ready to open their doors and to share their life with me.
Here I have heard the sound of spirituality everywhere, like bells, chants or like whispered prayers shelling mala. I have learned how spirituality is always present in everyday life.
Here the fine line between the so-called “anthropized” nature and the untamed has been revealed to me. Often it is very clear and bright, other times it is hidden under the ground: it is the presence or absence of a stream coming from a spring.
Here, the power of the concept of Fire is strong and striktly connected with the power of the Water.
The Story keep going because here resilience after changes is possible and is necessary.
My future reportage will tell this Story.
(To be continued...)