The Ends of Kinship: Connecting Himalayan Lives between Nepal and New York
Sienna R. Craig
2021 (Nepal edition), pp. xvi+280
ISBN: 978 9937 597 59 3
“Drawing on insights from decades of fieldwork and friendship—in Mustang and New York—this luminous, poignant book recasts ethnographic form in swirling bands of short essay, fiction, narrative ethnography, and scholarly commentary.”
—KIRIN NARAYAN, author of Everyday Creativity: Singing Goddesses in the Himalayan Foothills
“Life at the ends of kinship is exposed here through masterful storytelling, giving us a\ glimpse into the sadness, hopes, and joys of Nepalis on the move.”
—VINCANNE ADAMS, University of California, San Francisco
“An exquisite portrait of a community stretched apart by migration and at the same time darned back into new shapes of connection through the world-making ties of kinship.”—STACY PIGG, Simon Fraser University
FOR CENTURIES, people from Mustang, Nepal, have relied on agriculture, pastoralism, and trade as a way of life. Seasonal migrations to South Asian cities for trade as well as temporary wage labor abroad have shaped their modern experiences. More recently, permanent migrations to New York City, where many have settled, are recasting lives and social worlds. As a result, Mustang has experienced one of the highest rates of depopulation in contemporary Nepal—a profoundly visible loss that contrasts with the relative invisibility of Himalayan migrants in New York.
Drawing on more than two decades of fieldwork with people in and from Mustang, Sienna Craig combines narrative ethnography and short fiction to engage with foundational questions in cultural anthropology: How do different generations abide with and understand each other? How are traditions defended and transformed in the context of new mobilities? Craig draws on khora, the Tibetan Buddhist notion of cyclic existence as well as the daily act of circumambulating the sacred, to think about cycles of movement and patterns of world-making, shedding light on how kinship remains both\ firm and flexible in the face of migration. From a high Himalayan kingdom to the streets of Brooklyn and Queens, The Ends of Kinship speaks broadly to issues of immigration and diaspora; belonging and identity; and the nexus of environmental, economic, and cultural transformation.
SIENNA R. CRAIG is associate professor of anthropology at Dartmouth College and author of Healing Elements: Efficacy and the Social Ecologies of Tibetan Medicine.
Available in Kathmandu bookstores only.
Price: NPR 790.00