Monday, April 28, 2008

Various photos in village - 2

View over the southern side of the village

View from upper ward 5 down over the school and lower ward 5

Three village shamans during the funeral rites of a villager's younger brother

Older villagers drink millet beer during the funeral

Poster in the Limbu language (using Nepali script) for the November election that was cancelled. The government did not provide posters in Limbu for the election in April (though there were many Sherpa, Rai and Tamang posters pasted up around the village though there are only 1 Sherpa and 2 Rai households (no Tamang) in the whole VDC)

Various photos in the village

The second son (maila) of the house I live in hanging out in my kitchen

Weaving cane-sheets (chhittra [N]) with a high-altitude bamboo (mālingo [N])

View of the workshop of one of the tailor (damai) families that live in the village

Me in someone else's scruffy clothes

Election preparations (9th and 10th April) - Part 3

Election officials, police and local election assistants on the morning of the election

An old woman is carried to the voting booth while her daughter-in-law votes for her

View of the school ground with election underway

Election preparations (9th and 10th April) - Part 2

The stamp used on the voting forms

A view of the voting booth for the "red" vote [proportional representation]

Box for collecting the vote forms for the "red" vote [PR]

Sorting out the "red" vote forms

Close up of the 55 parties on the proportional representation vote [which accounts for 335 seats of the 601 total in the constituent assembly - which will write the new constitution]

Election preparations (9th and 10th April) - Part 1

Helping set up the barriers and sections which will divide male/female/old & incapacitated

Early morning on elections day (6am). The barriers and red/blue boxes for the votes are in place

The main election assistant writes in the details of the voting sheets to be handed out during the day

Limbuwan Party political program (30th March 2008)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Maoist pre-election village program (26th March 2008)

Pre-speech dance by village youths

View over a Maoist banner towards male villagers during the political program

Ram (Surendra) Karki, the Maoist candidate for the Eastern part of Taplejung (there are two seats in Taplejung district, roughly East (1) and West (2). Karki lost to Surya Man Gurung (Nepali Congress) by 312 seats. CPN-UML won in the Western area.

View of the school and the Maoist political program underway

Taplejung bazaar market-day (22nd March)

Yeast cakes for making millet beer; marchaa (Nepali); khesung (Limbu)

Selling tobacco; surti (Nepali); pharsung (Limbu)

Handles for hoeing; kodaalo (Nepali); kang (Limbu)

Visit to Taplejung bazaar (20th-26th March 2008)

Morning view over part of Taplejung bazaar

Stone, tin and wood rickety constructions in the bazaar

Images in the office of the Maoist district headquarters

Village views

Weaving a mat (14th March 2008)

Subba meeting (19th March)

A meeting of all the Subbas (29 Limbu "chiefs", in charge of tax collection and resolution of land-based disputes in the past) along the Kabeli river valley from Yamphudim to Tharpu. Meeting to discuss the collection of money paid by yak and sheep herders in Yamphudim for using Subba-controlled land high up above the villages along the river valley. The meeting took place in the main office of the new Limbu Museum.

Pre-election political meetings

Local pre-election political meeting to determine who will walk in what parts of the village to promote this particular party...

A local school-teacher explains why posters have been put up across the village at different sights in 4 different languages. This was a pre-election meeting for a particular political party, but specific questions were raised about the posters. The difference between First-Past-The-Post and proportional representation systems was also explained.

Edible tree moss (5th April 2008) - Mamangkhe

Spent a morning collecting "yangben" (Limbu), "Jhyau" (Nepali), a mossy epiphyte that grows high up on rotting branches.

(added info below due to comment)
[Extract from fieldnotes]
The hanging epiphyte has to be sorted out. Moss and other plants have to be removed. And bits of bark and such. Enough for one family to eat a meal of takes about 1.5 hrs to sort out. And there is still a large amount left. We must have picked a total of over 1 kg, which uncompressed filled up a large rice sack to 3/4.

The weed is then boiled with ash. About a few tablespoons of ash from the fire. The liquid is brought to a boil for about 20 minutes, until the plant has gone black (from red/grey/brown), and the water has turned dark red.
It then is washed, though apparently either we didn't boil it long enough or S didn't wash it properly, because after washing it well, through and through, the stuff is fried with butter (that surge got from T-Sir in exchange for work), chillies and chives (which they just call garlic here). Salt is added a little later and the stuff is stir fried for 10 minutes or so total, and covered for a moment. We eat it adding a little more salt, with fairly sour jaaD (chaaneko)[millet beer].
It is not too pleasant to eat, though buddharaj claims that in bazaar areas people pay 35 rupees for a plate of the stuff, and 30 for meat. It is extremely, well...fairly bitter. They all agree that it was not prepared properly.